Archives for December 2015

Cubans Do a Painting to Give Thanks to Costa Rica

A group of Cuban artists who have been in the temporary lodging provided by Costa Rican authorities in La Cruz, Guanacaste, decided to do something to show their appreciation for the Costa Rican people. They came up with the idea of creating a painting in one of the walls of the soccer field in La Cruz to show how Cuban culture and Costa Rican culture have come together over the past few months.

The Municipality of La Cruz provided the paint and the Cuban artists gave their talent. The came up with a beautiful piece that shows different aspect of both cultures like: animals, plants, religious interest, friendship and phrases which are relevant to both cultures.

One of the artist who spoke on an interview and who was one of the leaders of the project said he was greatly impressed with the way Costa Ricans take care of the nature and the environment. He even ventured to say that Costa Rica is called to be one of the greatest ecological places in the world.

He also said he was impressed by how the Ticos go out of their way to help those in need. He said it is a trait Costa Ricans have by birth and that he has not seen that in any other place. This migratory experience has marked the lives of many people, both Costa Ricans and Cubans. Friendships were borned. Those who have had the opportunity to help or be helped will remember this experience for the rest of their lives.

To view the full interview in Spanish click here.

A Door is Opening for Cubans Stuck in Costa Rica

imigranteOver 45 days ago, Cubans started flooding into Costa Rica on their way to the U.S. They left Cuba to come to Ecuador by plane and from there, they started their way up north. Crossing over Colombia and Panama, their plan was to pass over Central America and Mexico before getting to their American Dream. However, things changed as soon as they hit the northern Costa Rican border. Nicaragua decided to close up their territory and did not allow any cubans to cross, reasons for this remain unknown.

With the scenario, Costa Rica faced a big problem. Cubans kept coming, but they were not going out. Buses were flowing from the Panamenian border to different towns in Costa Rica where temporary lodging was set up for the immigrants. Towns like Upala, Bijagua, Nicoya, La Cruz, Peñas Blancas and Liberia started to fill up with Cubans.

It is estimated that currently there are about 8,000 cubans in Costa Rican territory not able to get to their final destination: the U.S. However, last Monday, government representatives from Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and Costa Rica met to discuss a way out of the immigration crisis. Nowing that the U.S. is willing to receive all the cubans in their territory, as long as they make their way over there, these countries found what seems to be a good solution to this situation.

Cubans will travel by plane to El Salvador, to avoid traveling through Nicaragua. From there they will be bussed into Mexico through Guatemalan territory. It is still unknown about how they will make it from Mexico to the U.S., but at least there seems to be hope for both the Cuban immigrants and the Costa Rican people as they issue is already costing the country close to $3.000.000 in providing food and lodging for the Cubans.

On the positive side, the cubans feel welcomed in Costa Rica and they have said that Costa Ricans have been helpful, friendly and have received them with open arms and open hearts. They are impressed with how the Ticos have sought to help them in their difficult situation and this has made their stay a bit easier despite all the difficulties they are facing.

Crisis like this are always a good way to proof people´s character and helping skills.

There is no Holidays in Costa Rica without Toros!

TorosALaTicaDifferent countries have different Christmas and New Year´s tradition. Some have snow, and freezing weather. Costa Rica has Toros. Yes, we have bulls! But what do bulls have to do with Christmas? For a Tico it has a lot to do, as a matter of fact most Costa Ricans won´t feel like it is Christmas without bulls.

For many years, the City of San Jose has celebrated their city festival from December 25th to January 3rd. The festival is held in Zapote, which is a town on the East side of the capital city. As part of the tradition people enjoy food stands, roller coasters, bars, dance halls, horse parade, a carnival and of course the Toros a la Tica. Every day, twice a day, hundreads of people go inside a bull ring to face a furious bull with nothing other than a cape and their speed. Some more brave man ride the bull, but the main attraction is to see the brave improvised toreros risking their lives to entertain those who come see their performance.

But may be you are asking yourself, if the celebration is for San Jose, why is it a tradition for the whole country? National TV channels like channel 6 and channel 7 air the bull fights every day for the whole country to watch. So it becomes a tradition for all Ticos to spend their holiday vacation watching the toros a la tica.

If you happen to be in Costa Rica for your holiday vacation make sure to turn on your TV and take a peek at the toros to get a full taste of a Costa Rican Christmas, and as you are watching make sure you grab a tamale to make your time totally worth it.

Tamales! A Tico Christmas Tradition

A Costa Rican Christmas Tradition!

A Costa Rican Christmas Tradition!

Christmas in Costa Rica means Tamales time. The tamales have become a Costa Rican tradition for many years. It is a very elaborated dish made up of corn dough filled up with rice, pork or chicken, carrot and bell pepers. Other ingredients can be chick peas, petit pois, raisins, potato, tomatoe or dried plums. Once the dough is filled up with all the ingredients, the tamal is wrapped up in banana leaves and boiled until they cook.

The tamales can be eaten for breakfast, lunch, dinner or coffee time. Basically, they make up a complete meal for any time of the day. Families get together, usually at grandma´s house to cook the tamales following the family recipe, which can vary from one house to another. A family could come up with as many as 200 tamales.

Tamales are shared between families and given to friends and neighbourghs as gifts or treats. The tamale tradition is so rich in Costa Rica that even the presidential family gets together to work on their tamales.

If you are planning to spend your holidays in Costa Rica, make sure you enjoy a tamale or two. We guarantee you won´t regreted. Make sure you get a hot cup of Costa Rican coffee to go with it!

Translate »