Independence Day in Costa Rica

  I was looking through the Costa Rica Outsider archive and I was surprised to find that I'd not written anything about Costa Rican Independence Day yet. That's not a huge omission, I suppose, but it's worth mentioning since this is a blog about Costa Rica, after all. I guess this is my 10th Independence Day in Costa Rica! I came here at the end of August 2006, so even though I've just been here 9 years, the confounding math seems to add up to 10 Independence Days. I don't really even Read more [...]

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 [...]

“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 [...]