President Carlos Alvarado delivered a message of hope as Costa Rica and the world welcomed 2021.
In a video shared on official social media pages, President Alvarado recognized the difficulties Costa Rica faced in 2020 and expectations for a better future.
Watch the entire address below (in Spanish):
Here is an English translation of the speech:
For you, for me, for all of us in Costa Rica, this 2020 that comes to a close has been a difficult year. It obligated us to distance ourselves and to be cautious. It has impeded us from hugging friends and loved ones, impacted jobs and changed our day-to-day dramatically.
In Costa Rica, COVID-19 has taken more than 2,000 people from their loved ones. To those people, our biggest condolences and solidarity. The coronavirus has stretched our hospitals to the limit, brutally impacted our economy and people’s finances, and has forced us to face challenges that were unthinkable just months ago.
2020 put our capacity for resistance to the test and has obligated us to change, to work harder, to seek solutions, to give the best of our scientists and technicians, to make sacrifices. To take nothing for granted and think first in helping our most vulnerable.
Costa Rica has been strong. It fights and resists with valor. It continues being a country of solidarity, humanity and warmth that longs for a new year with better possibilities for everyone.
Christmas brought us the big hope as we became one of the first countries in the world to receive high-quality vaccines against COVID-19 that have been given to priority groups and will be extended gradually to all adults. This big accomplishment reminds us that Costa Rica can prevail. Costa Rica works to come out ahead, to honor its history of visionary men and women, of people who can overcome adversity to reach a better common destination for the whole nation.
Our history of tenacity, sacrifice and delivery demonstrates this — a history of 200 years.
We have reached our bicentenary year, 200 years of this beautiful homeland on its fighting feet, with big challenges and big hopes, and with the confidence that we will overcome the difficulties that today worry us.
It’s not a blind faith, but one that is cemented in the values that have made our country big: respect, dialogue, solidarity, work and peace.
We are each day closer to overcoming this challenge. That is why we cannot lower or guard against COVID-19. We also have to face the hard economic challenge of our country. That is why I ask the distinct political forces, with all my humility and respect, to unite to help one another to overcome this challenge. That is what the country asks for and needs. I ask strongly that this happens in 2021 for the good of Costa Rica and its people.
While we celebrate with hope the arrival of a new year, the year of the bicentennial of our homeland, we dedicate a heartfelt moment to thank the people who are working tonight to protect us and save lives: to the personnel at health centers, to the team of the Health Ministry and the Social Security System, to the police and transit authorities, to the National Emergency Commission, to the Red Cross, to the firefighters, to all the people who are on the front lines against the pandemic. I want to say thank you: On behalf of myself and the Costa Rican people, we recognize your sacrifice and contributions to the common good.
We’ll start 2021 with the hope of a better tomorrow. A hope based on the knowledge that ‘tomorrow’ depends on ourselves and what we do. I reiterate my commitment to work tirelessly for a better nation and for everyone’s better well-being.
I wish for you much peace, prosperity, and opportunities in the new year. Thank you for all the prayers that today are lifted for the well-being of Costa Rica.
To all the people and families in our country, may you have a venturous and safe 2021!