Independence Day – Costa Rican Style

Last Thursday was September 15, Independence Day for Costa Rica. It has been a couple of years since a public parade and public festivities were held due to the Pandemic. However, Ticos celebrated their independence and democracy in Jaco with fervor and color.

Brenda and I always love community events in our beach town of Jaco. It is so fun to see families with their children dressed in the colors of Costa Rica, watch and hear the drummers leading the procession down main street, and to note how much pride Costa Ricans have in their country.

While Costa Rica is indeed a small country, it has much to be proud of. It may not be a military power or a leader in the global economy, but it has freedom, opportunity, and an abundance of flora and fauna. Costa Rica is home to 5% all known species in the world, yet only encompasses .03% of earth’s surface.  There are 12 unique climate and life zones, and within these zones there are hundreds of micro-climate pockets.  Costa Rica is also located on an isthmus between the North and South America continents, so species from both continents migrate here or have expanded their range to this unique location. (Information provided by With all of these unique attributes, Costa Rica is one of the most biologically intense places in the world.

Costa Ricans are known for their friendliness, helpfulness, and pura vide lifestyle. There is ample food, quality healthcare, a priority on peace, and a highly literate population. While it has its challenges like any other country, life here, while not perfect, is peaceful and enviable.

As the parade began through town, it was led by a young man on a four-wheeler, followed by police cars, with sirens blaring. While there were not many people waiting on the streets when it began, it wasn’t long until the sirens had done their job, and people began congregating in joyous groups along the parade route. With flags waving, children marching and dancing, all the local school were represented. Some had marching units complete with bands; others rode on the backs of trucks decorated with typical Costa Rican scenes; still others danced their way down Avenida Pastor Diaz with great spirit.

The parade ended its route at the city park where bands continued to entertain. There is something about kids dressed up, marching, playing, and doing their best that always sends a chill down my spine. And these kids added enthusiasm that made you realize that they were participating with immense joy.

Actually, all of Central America declared its independence from Spain in 1821, so celebrations took place throughout Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama yesterday. 201 years of independence. Costa Rica leads the way with a strong democracy.

We love our home country (United States), and we love our adopted country de corazon (of the heart) – Costa Rica. We feel so blessed to be able to live here and share the pura vida life with the amazing people known as Ticos (Costa Ricans).

Thanks for joining us at the Independence Day Parade in Jaco.

Until next time,

This is Paul, A Part-Time Expat

(Actually, we are not part-time any more, but the name remains. We are now living full-time in Costa Rica.)

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1 thought on “Independence Day – Costa Rican Style”

  1. Thank your for this Paul. It was my first Independence Day in Costa Rica and I got to see a little of the celebrations in Escazu. I appreciate your beautifully written and heartfelt blog.

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