Participate in Civic Events in Your New Home

One of the ways to ease the expat transition is to participate in community events.  It is a way to meet other people and show respect for your new home country.  Costa Rica celebrated its Independence Day on September 15th.  This weekend was filled with events for the whole community.  According to the newspaper, “La Nacion”, 6/10 Ticos planned to attend the parades and celebrations that day.  It certainly seemed that way here in Monteverde!  The whole town participated, whether marching in the parade or as a spectator.

The whole weekend was packed with fun stuff to do.  On Saturday morning, the 11th graders from the public colegio (high school) and the two private international schools (Escuela de los Amigos and Creativa), brought the “Antorcha de Independencia” to Santa Elena town after running it in a relay all night.  Kara’s English teacher ran in the carrera too!  The Antorcha was brought to the gym where the Feria de Agricultor (farmer’s market) usually takes place, so it worked out great.  Saturday evening we went to watch the Desfile de Faroles, which is an informal parade or walk through the main drag in Santa Elena.  We did not march, but we enjoyed watching.  We also got to see many friends that night, including Kara’s Tica best friend.

"Acto Civico" to Celebrate Costa Rica's Independence from Spain

“Acto Civico” to Celebrate Costa Rica’s Independence from Spain

"La Antorcha de Independencia" arrives in Santa Elena.

“La Antorcha de Independencia” arrives in Santa Elena.

Desfile de Faroles (homemade torches). There was a contest for the Most Patriotic, Best Use of Recycled Materials, and Best Depiction of Costa Rica's Flora and Fauna.

Desfile de Faroles (homemade torches). There was a contest for the Most Patriotic, Best Use of Recycled Materials, and Best Depiction of Costa Rica’s Flora and Fauna.

Kara and her friend hanging out at the Desfile de Faroles

Kara and her friend, Tati, hanging out at the Desfile de Faroles

The actual parade was on Sunday.  Kara was one of the flag bearers representing the school, and she was asked to carry the school banner as she was the only girl flag bearer.  I was so proud of her.  It was a hot day and she was wearing a long-sleeved shirt, black vest, and black pants!  She was a trooper and did not complain.  Tristan was part of the “Mini-Banda”, a group of younger kids with make-shift drums.  After the parade, we had lunch at Choco-Cafe, along with many of the Creativa folks.

Kara's friend Tati was one of the dancers at the other international school, Escuela de los Amigos

Kara’s friend Tati was one of the dancers at the other international school, Escuela de los Amigos

Tristan and the rest of "Mini-Banda"

Tristan and the rest of “Mini-Banda”

Kara carried the Creativa banner for the parade. I was so proud of her.

Kara carried the Creativa banner for the parade. I was so proud of her.

Kara and the Creativa banner

Kara and the Creativa banner

Tristan is ready for "Mini-Banda"

Tristan is ready for “Mini-Banda”

On our way to the parade on Sunday morning!

On our way to the parade on Sunday morning!

I am glad we participated.  Even though I am not Tica or even a legal Costa Rican resident for that matter, I felt honored to be part of the festivities.  I felt it was my way to show the community how grateful I was to be part of it.  This video is a run down of the weekend’s events.

Pura Vida!

About Noemi Gamel

Noemi Gamel is a physician who prefers writing diverse children's fantasy stories instead of medical charts. She is a geeky nomad, too.
This entry was posted in An Action Worth Doing, Becoming an Expat, Living in Costa Rica and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Participate in Civic Events in Your New Home

  1. Pingback: Simplifying in Costa Rica: Reduce, Reuse, Recyle | Pura Vida Familia

  2. Pingback: 5 Amazing Perks of Parenting in Costa Rica as an Expat | Pura Vida Familia

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