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The Spanish born Mercedes Peñas is getting ready to assume the office of the Primera Dama (First Lady), an position that has been vacation for the last eight years.

Mercedes, born in Madrid, Spain has been the common-law wife for eight years of president-elect Luis Guillermo Solís.

Like many foreigners living in Costa Rica, Doña Mercedes arrived in Costa Rica in 1991, with the aim of obtaining a graduate degree at the Universidad de la Paz (Peace in University), and decided to stay. On May 8 she assumes the role of the First Lady.

mercedes-pena-esposa-solisThe office of La Primera Dama has been silent during the last two administrations, Oscar Arias (2006-2010) and Laura Chinchilla (2010-2014).

Don Oscar, now re-married, was single during his four years of his second administration, while in the case Doña Laura, José María Rico, never took an active part the administration of his of wife.

According to the little information we have about Doña Mercedes, she is now a political scientist and director of the Fundación para el Desarrollo Local y el Fortalecimiento Municipal e Institucional de Centroamérica y del Caribe (FUNDEMUCA),  which promotes local development in the region.

She studies political science, specializing in international relations at the Facultad de Ciencias Políticas y Sociología (Universidad Complutense de Madrid).

Luis and Mercedes met while she was studying for her masters in international relations at the Peace University in Costa Rica. The couple have a daughter, Inés.

During the presidential elections campaign, Doña Mercedes said she was not interested in taking over the traditional role of Primera Dama, but to provide the government with her expertise in local development issues.


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  • SarongGoddess

    Isn’t this country funny – he’s “Living in Sin” with her in this catholic country & they even have a child together & I don’t recall hearing that brought up much (FYI – I’m ALL FOR IT – just remarking about they hypocracy that often happens here).

    She sounds like a facinating person that can hopefully contribute!! I’ve got the highest hope for BIG TIME changes for CR to help save the people of what’s pretty obvious is going on here!!! It’s not too late!! Change is GOOD!!!

  • B D

    SG – what the is with the Capital letters??? Pura Vida from the Costa Rica God – Don’t you know that all men are Gods??? Also your Gringa attitude reflects how uptight Gringas are – especially the feminist who come here trying to enlighten those “suppressed Ticas” when all the time the Ticas aren’t buying their feminist rap and are laughing at the gringas because they say they think, dress and act like men.

  • disqus_r8w0IwvvLw

    Vicky was merely commenting, not insulting anyone. Mercedes is extranjera and I know personally does not waddle around in over-the-top high healed shoes and pants one size too small. She is not tica and dresses more casual so you, Ben, are indirectly insulting Mercedes with your angry statements about dressing. I agree that some gringas dress like their husbands, but not all. Just like what has happened here in CR now. Look around. In 2011 no one wore short shorts but now it is accepted! Also, face the fact that some sapos are jealous and like to habla paja about their blanca sisters. What happened to Pura Vida?