Mother’s Day and Father’s Day

Today is Mother's Day in Costa Rica. It's a day when families come together to honor their mothers by sitting around and drinking the traditional Mother's Day drink: alcohol. Whether your family drinks Imperial or Pilsen depends on your individual family's traditions, as does your choice of mixers with whiskey (some families swear by Coke, while my in-laws prefer ginger ale). In fact, to the untrained eye, Mother's Day can look quite a lot like Father's Day. Today we'll discuss a few ways to tell Read more [...]

Juan Santamaría: The Man, The Airport, The Legend

As I mentioned in my last post, last week was Easter break (called semana santa in Costa Rica), so we had the whole week free. That was pretty excellent, but it turns out that today is also a holiday: Juan Santamaría Day. The only downside is that it's not necessarily a free day at work for everyone, and we do have classes where I work because it's a private language school. Nevertheless, who was Juan Santamaría, and why is he considered Costa Rica's "national hero"? I'll admit that I didn't Read more [...]

“Holy Week”

Today is the first day of semana santa, or "holy week" in Costa Rica. Like most of Latin America, Costa Rica is Catholic, or at least ostensibly Catholic. In reality, whether a person is observant and goes to church really boils down to personal inclinations and familial traditions, but almost everyone is observant of one aspect semana santa: vacation! This week is possibly best described as a religious holiday tainted by a Spring Break ethos (or maybe even vice-versa). Most schools and public Read more [...]