The clock strikes 6:30 a.m. on Sunday, January 1, 2040. The streets dawn desolate as a result of the celebrations of the night of the Old Year. Around 10 am some people who ride the Metro go to their jobs, while a large majority are resting, following the old custom of when the first of January was an obligatory holiday.
More than 10 years ago, they repealed all the legal holidays, leaving it up to the employers to give their workers the holidays they request, without double or extra pay. Labor-employer relations are much more flexible than they were in previous decades, as a result of the unsustainability represented by employer-worker models in terms of financial costs.
Unemployment and underemployment rates have led to startups growing exponentially and more than 30% of the economically active population receives their income from their own business activities.
The Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social (CCSS) operation is varied and now it manages jointly with the 3 existing pension operators (3 others were absorbed in previous years) a unique regime of individual capitalizations for the pension funds that from 2030 began to be enjoyed from the age of 70 for new contributors. And for medical services, the institution adopted a mixed model (public and semi-private) according to the possibilities and the emergency situation of each user.
As today is the last holiday at the end and beginning of the year, many people from the Greater Metropolitan Area of San Jose (GAM) go to the different fairgrounds of each canton to spend a day with their families, just as they did it years ago when they had the Zapote Fiestas, but for reasons of security and vehicular congestion, in addition to the need to stimulate the economy and entrepreneurship in each canton, each of the municipalities has a Commission for Popular Celebrations at the end of the year that is responsible for organizing these events in each canton.
On the National Radio and Television Network, the current President of the Republic, aging and always diplomatic Dr. Román Macaya, gives his message, wishing the best to all Costa Ricans in the new year 2040.
The message reaches only a third of the population since the majority of people watch TV and listen to music through the Internet on their different devices. Open television and radio are not part of the preference of the 6.2 million inhabitants (a figure that reached that level, largely due to the migrant population, since Costa Rican families have chosen not to have children).
In politics, we are a few days away from the 30th birthday of President-elect Fabiana Alvarado who will become the youngest President in the history of the country next May. Daughter of the ex-legislator and current Defensora de los Habitantes (Ombudswoman) Laura Moscoa and the 2 times legislator, 2 times presidential candidate and former minister of the presidency 2022-2026, Fabricio Alvarado.
The birthday of the president-elect is of great joy for her and her supporters since one of the main questions that she had in her convulsed campaign was her young age, which was not yet the minimum (35 years of age) for the exercise of the presidency and her consequent lack of experience.
Ms. Alvarado would assume this role after several governments of different parties and characterized by the almost absence of political partisanship since citizens are not faithful to parties or ideological positions, but to specific ideas and figures. The last campaigns had as main thematic axes minority rights, the migratory and economic crisis, the role of the C.C.S.S. the insecurity and the free bearing of arms of the citizens.
The last 4 governments that preceded the young political scientist and singer were those of Juan Diego Castro (2022-2026), Franggi Nicolás (2026-2030); Subsequently, due to a bill presented in 2027, the period of government was modified from 4 to 5 years and 2 more governments continued in which the first five-year period was by the experienced José María Villalta (2030-2035) after his third candidacy, this time under the figure of a national union that would bear the name of “Homeland Confederation” that would bring together ex-militants of all the dying and, in some cases, extinct political parties.
The following five-year period 2035-2040 was occupied by Dr. Román Macaya under the same group “Confederación Patria” in his first presidential attempt and despite having had a National Union government with people from all political parties, for the following period the country would opt for a radical change and would choose Fabiana Alvarado for the period 2040-2045 as a result of a factor that played in her favor, which was having as one of the axes of her campaign, the demand for the figure of women. and her ability to govern since she would be the third woman to govern the country after the discredited PLN administrations of Laura Chinchilla (2006-2010) and Franggi Nicolas (2026-2030).
However, the young Alvarado went on to win the 2040 elections due to several factors such as her popularity among young people by winning the Grammy award twice in the category of Best Evangelical Christian Music, becoming one of the great international exponents in said musical genre.
In the campaign, she had the collaboration of several important figures in national politics from different parties, and mostly of the female gender, among those that stand out are former presidential candidates and twice legislators each, Ivonne Acuña from her own party and Natalia Diaz (also former Minister of Foreign Trade 2026-2030) of the United We Can Party, who would shape its presidential formula.
In soccer, next Wednesday, January 4, the 40th edition of the competition will play 90 minutes for life. The game will serve for the premiere of the San José Olympic Stadium located in Santa Ana and which has been under construction for 4 years and will have a capacity of 69,000 spectators (with a view to being one of the 2 venues in Costa Rica for the Central American Soccer World Cup 2042).
In this 90 minutes for life edition, the teams squaring off are Saprissa (now 49 times national champion), Alajuelense (42 times national champion), Herediano (34 times national champion) and the current national champion Club Sport Cartaginés, which after being bought by a group of Costa Rican businessmen and former players who injected a lot of capital into the team, has managed to win 5 national championships, a Concacaf championship and classified once for the FIFA Club World Cup.
All soccer games are played at night due to global warming and the strong sun during the day that has exponentially increased cases of skin cancer. This pattern of nightlife is also manifested in most productive and recreational activities.
As for the national soccer team, the country is still experiencing the ’embriaguez’ (drunkenness) of the great participation in the 2038 World Cup after many years of drought. The team did not qualify for the Qatar 2022 World Cup and their participation in the United States-Mexico-Canada 2026 World Cup and the Argentina-Paraguay-Uruguay 2030 World Cup.
The tricolor also failed to qualify for the China 2034 World Cup, but in the India 2038 World Cup Costa Rica qualified for the semifinals, reaching third place in the tournament in a great match winning 3 goals for 1 against powerful Germany. This, together with the excellent participation of the Guatemalan teams in their first World Cup and Panama that qualified for the quarterfinals, managed to boost Central America footballically and that FIFA finally gave the venue for the World Cup to Central America for 2042.
The world champions have not changed much and are still 8, with France winning the 2022 world championship, England winning in 2026, Brazil in 2030 and 2038 and Spain in 2034.
Dusk is coming and people get ready for their last meal of the day and watch the bullfights. People now try to have 2 main meals a day since, in the now dollarized economy, buying food has a very high cost.
The day ends, people prepare to rest and everything runs normally, for on summer nights, even 9 years later, the aftershocks still continue and the fear of many that the terrible episode of the 2031 December night of the devastating 7.8 earthquake that shook the Osa Peninsula causing the saddest Christmas in the history of the country, will be repeated.
What will this new year 2040 bring us? Only God knows…
The article is translated from the original in Spanish by Generif Traña Vargas published on January 3, 2019, at Elmundo.cr.