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PAX, LUX ET VERITAS SINCE 1965
Post COSTA RICA
Created by Ronald Hilton on 08/13/00 4:15 AM

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COSTA RICA (Ronald Hilton, USA, 08/13/00 4:15 am)

Tim Brown writes:

"Since Costa Rica is my patria chica - I've been married to a Costa Rican for 42 years and have had a second home in San Jose since the 1960s - I love Jaqui's beautiful description of the trip to Guanacaste. I have made part of the peregrinaje to the Basilica de Nuestra Senora de La Virgen de Los Angeles myself, although I was too lazy to make it entirely on foot, as one is supposed to do. Since Costa Ricans make the pilgrimage to Cartago on foot from all over the meseta central, including from towns far to the east of San Jose, I'm sure Jaqui saw many of them walking from their distant homes towards San Jose and then Cartago along the highway to Guanacaste.

In pre-Columbian times, the region from today's Nicaraguan border south to the Gulf of Nicoya (around which Guanacaste forms a horseshoe) was settled by Nahua groups that had arrived into the region from the Nahua region around Puebla, Mexico beginning in the ninth century. During the colonial period, Guanacaste was usually governed from Managua, although there was a great deal of backing and forthing between Spanish colonial authorities. Finally, and well after Central America gained its independence from Spain, a plebiscite was held and the Guanacastecos voted to be Costa Ricans. If you listen carefully to the Ticos from the meseta central especially, you will often here less than kind comments about Guanacastecos being "Nicas regaladas", and there are clear ethnic differences between the peoples of the two regions. But by and large assimilation has been successful, making Guanacaste a fascinating case study in how persuasion is always better than coercion in such matters."


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