Guanacaste day, the 25th of July is a Costa Rican holiday celebrating the annexation of the Guanacaste province to Costa Rica. Surfing Nosara went to Garza, where people gathered, schools and streets filled out with happy and colorfully dressed Guanacastecos to celebrate their freedom. Read more about this special holiday and check out some photos on this blog!
For a long period of time, Guanacaste was part of Nicaragua and went through many civil wars. However, On the 25th of July 1824, Guanacaste’s inhabitants requested to be annexed to Costa Rica. After a few negotiations in open meetings, the three cities (Nicoya, Santa Cruz, and Liberia) decided to call a referendum, which took place in Nicoya. That is why the Guanacaste Annexation is also known as the Nicoya Annexation. It was a divided decision, with Nicoya and Santa Cruz voting yes and Liberia voting no, but the annexation won. The Central American Federation approved the annexation and a large chunk of land, Guanacaste, became part of Costa Rica.
The “Guanacastecos” has always been well identified with Costa Rica and take pride in being part of the country. For that reason, their famous slogan is ‘de la patria por nuestra voluntad’, which means ‘part of this country by our own choice’. Since then, the 25th of July has become an important Costa Rican holiday. On this day the Guanacastecos celebrate Costa Rica’s core value of democracy. During this public holiday all banks, government offices, and other commercial centers close. Everyone comes together and the streets of Guanacaste fill with free and happy Costa Ricans.
During the day, most of the celebrations involve children and take place at their schools. The children wear wonderful, colorful, traditional and/or indigenous clothes. They join parades, folk dances, make typical music with the national instrument, the marimba and sell handicrafts. All these celebrations are accompanied by typical Costa Rican food such as arroz y maíz, rosquillas, chorreados, elotes, chicheme and tamales pizque. At nighttime concerts, fireworks and more folk dances can be visited.
This is definitely an experience and day you should not miss out on; so make sure you visit next year!