Costa Rica Coffee Guide

Costa Rica celebrates Juan Santamaría Day

April 10, 2019

Costa Rica, lacking an army since 1948, doesn’t have many war heroes. The most notable exception is Juan Santamaría, a poor drummer boy from Alajuela.

Celebrated every year on April 11, Juan Santamaría Day commemorates the Costa Rican victory in the Battle of Rivas in 1856 against the U.S. citizen William Walker and his mercenary army.

Thursday is a day of celebration in Alajuela and across Costa Rica. But what was Walker doing here in the first place? What was mid-1800s life like in Costa Rica?

And what do we know about Santamaría himself? Check out the stories below for answers:

What is Juan Santamaría Day?

Who was Juan Santamaría? Five (debated) things you should know

Life in Juan Santamaría’s Costa Rica: A look back

If you want to learn more about Juan Santamaría and Costa Rican history, Museo Histórico Cultural Juan Santamaría in downtown Alajuela is open Tuesday-Sunday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission is free.


​​This story was made possible thanks to The Tico Times 5% Club. If only 5 percent of our readers donated at least $5 a month, we’d have our operating costs covered and could focus on bringing you more original reporting from around Costa Rica. We work hard to keep our reporting independent and groundbreaking, but we can only do it with your help. Join The Tico Times 5% Club and help make stories like this one possible.
​​

Support the Tico Times

You may be interested

Chile rejects Escazú Agreement, environmental pact supported by Costa Rica
Costa Rica
368 views
Costa Rica
368 views

Chile rejects Escazú Agreement, environmental pact supported by Costa Rica

AFP and The Tico Times - September 23, 2020

Chile on Tuesday confirmed its decision not to sign the Escazú Agreement, which guarantees the protection of environmental rights in…

At UN, Costa Rica defends international fund to alleviate economic blow of pandemic
Costa Rica
1180 views
Costa Rica
1180 views

At UN, Costa Rica defends international fund to alleviate economic blow of pandemic

AFP - September 23, 2020

The president of Costa Rica, Carlos Alvarado, defended Tuesday before the UN the creation of a fund financed by industrialized…

Travel uncertainty cancels Costa Rica’s upcoming soccer friendly against Mexico
Costa Rica
3277 views
Costa Rica
3277 views

Travel uncertainty cancels Costa Rica’s upcoming soccer friendly against Mexico

Alejandro Zúñiga - September 22, 2020

The Costa Rican Football Federation (Fedefutbol) on Tuesday announced the cancellation of the men's national team's planned friendly match against…