COSTA RICA NEWS — Costa Ricans living in the Bound Brook, the New Jersey borough,with one of the largest population of Costa Ricans in the United States, will be able to celebrate Costa Rica’s Independence Day when President Luis Guillermo Solís visits on Sunday.
Casa Presidencial confirmed that Solis, who is in the United States to participate in the Annual Meeting of the United Nations, is scheduled to join his Ticos and their families or descendants in the Independence Festival Costa Rica.
The festival will be held in the Imperial restaurant parking lot on Talmage Avenue beginning at 1 p.m. President Solís is scheduled to spend several hours at the celebration and plans to mingle with the crowd.
“New Jersey has the largest population of Costa Ricans in the United States and the majority of them live in Bound Brook,” Costa Rica consulate general of New York Ana Villalobos said Friday. “They started in Bound Brook to pursue the America Dream. Bound Brook is like an historic point.”
“The Imperial is a special place for Costa Ricans. Solís was there 20 years ago when he was the director of foreign policy and foreign relations for Costa Rica. He’s happy to be coming back.”
Villalobos said she doesn’t have any updated numbers but according to the 2010 census, 135,000 Costa Ricans lived in the United States and 70 percent of them lived in New Jersey. That same census report said 1,229 people of Costa Rican descent lived in Bound Brook — 11.82 percent of the borough’s population, a greater percentage than in any other American community.
“I have no idea why some many Costa Ricans go to Bound Brook,” Villalobos said. “I’ve been trying to figure it out. It’s not like there’s a lot of jobs there. I guess a group of people came there, the people of Bound Brook were friendly to them and they told their friends.”
The President will not have any official meetings with local or state authorities during his visit to Bound Brook. Bound Brook mayor Mark Hasting and city council members have been invited and the president will be recognized by the borough.
“The President does not want to have any official meetings. We wants to walk around and talk to the people,” Villalobos said.
Solís, who took office in May, will give his official speech at the UN Assembly on Tuesday and participate in forums on global warming, Indigenous, Cooperation and Development.
But Sunday will be a time of celebration as Costa Ricans from across the state converge on Bound Brook.
“This is a happy time for all Costa Ricans,” Villalobos said. “Costa Ricans work really hard. Some of them work seven days a week and have two jobs. This is their opportunity to be happy and get in touch with their president.
“It’ll be really special for the older Costa Ricans who left Costa Rica years and years ago. This is a chance for them to retouch their roots.”
Source: NJ.com; Casa Presidencial (Costa Rica); Costa Rican Consulate General, NY