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Celebrating Independence Day in Costa Rica

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Costa Rica currently is a modern tropical paradise, with tourism proving to be its major source of income and revenue. However, this has not always been the case, and the nation itself had to fight for independence, just like the rest of Central America, against the Spanish. Spain conquered the majority of Central America, colonizing it and forcing the local tribes and larger empires to adhere to their form of government, rule and religion. While it did take some time, Costa Rica eventually declared independence from Spain on September 15, 1821.

Costa Rica independence came about thanks to the Spanish defeat in the Mexican War of Independence, which spanned from 1810 until 1821. Once Mexico defeated the Spanish, Guatemala declared all of Central America independent from their former colonizers.

The nation celebrates Independence Day on September 15, 1821 with festivities the night before as well. The day is a national holiday, so most shops and businesses are closed throughout the day. Most cities also take great pride in the parades which run through the main streets. San Jose, the capital of the nation, has the largest parade with celebrations of native Costa Rica and Central American dance and customs, traditions that have existed for hundreds of years.

If you’re staying in Manuel Antonio during this celebration, we encourage you to experience the festivities in Quepos. You’ll see extremely bright, festive clothing and many forms of dance and music, along with traditional foods featuring a combination of arroz con pollo, rice and beans, tamales and arroz con leche.

Of course, as is the case with most other independence day celebrations around the world, fireworks are shot off during the festivities. This Independence Day also goes along with the majority of other nations in Central America who also celebrate on September 15th.

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