improvisados-costa-rica
The bullring is a staple at traditional Costa Rica festivals, where men and women run in front of and away from charging bulls.

COSTA RICA LIVING – Judging by the title of this blog one would think that we have terrorism in Costa Rica. Potential retirees will be pleased to know that terrorism does not exist here.

As sad as the 9-11 tragedy was, we never felt the least bit threatened here since the country he no enemies making it a great place tmaxresdefault-672x372o live or retiree. When you look at countries like Afghanistan, Iraq, Colombia, even the U.S. and other spots around the world where there has been terrorist acts like car bombings, Costa Rica is indeed an oasis of peace. In fact, there is now a campaign under way to nominate the country for a Noble Peace Prize because of its peaceful tradition.

Don’t let the title of this blog scare you! “Car Bomb” (Coche Bomba) is the name of a 2000 pound bull that will participate in an annual bullfighting tradition. From Christmas Day until January 5th, the Zapote fairgrounds in the southeastern suburbs of San Jose will be the scene of Costa Rican-style bull fighting.

Though bullfights occur across Costa Rica all year long, Zapote’s is considered the country’s biggest event.

Unlike Spain, Colombia and Mexico bulls are not killed here. So, Costa Rican bullfighting is a more humane variation of the Spanish tradition. It resembles Pamplona’s Running of the Bulls or a North American rodeo more than a classic bullfight or corrida de toros .

Participants enter the ring to dodge or run from the animals. Some entrants keep their distance from the bull, while others attempt to run as close as they can when they bull stands his ground. Spectators love to watch the toreros improvisados (improvised bullfighters,) who taunt the bull into charging them and chasing them around the ring much like rodeo clowns .

Bullfighting in Costa Rica is not without controversy. Because of the mistreatment of some of the bulls and horses The World Society for the Protection of Animals has condemned the Costa Rican-style-bullfighting. Although in the Costa Rican version of bullfighting the animal is not killed, some activists claim that it is nevertheless cruel.

Finally, in addition to the bullring las Fiesta de Zapote also include live music, dancing, amusement park rides, games, a variety of food and a lot of of beer. This annual event is just another example of the many activities in Costa Rica where retirees can enjoy themselves.

Article first appeared on Costa Rica Living.