Encuentro de Culturas October 12 Is A National Holiday in Costa Rica

The holiday is celebrated on Monday, October 15


In Costa Rica, October 12, is called “Encuentro de Culturas” (Encounter of Cultures), changed from “Dia de la Raza” and is a de no pago obligatorio (non-obligatory) holiday.

Most holidays in Costa Rica are celebrated the day they fall on, like Mother’s Day (August 15) and Independence Day (September 15), for example.

October 12 is one that can be moved forward to the following Monday, in this case, October 15.  See the Minister of Labor chart for holidays in 2018.


What happens if you do not work on October 12?

What makes the difference in “de no pago obligatorio” holidays is the form of payment, so that only those who receive a salary per working day see a difference between compulsory payment and non-obligatory payment. For these employees, unless they work, they are not paid for that day; and if they work it, they get paid their normal day wage.

For the rest of the workers, – public sector, private sector, including commercial activities with weekly payment, be it a national or international company, they will be paid the day, working it or not.

What happens if you work on October 12? Unlike day workers who receive their regular day wage if they work the day, salaried employees get an extra day pay if they work the holiday.

Important to note, the Costa Rica Labor Code does not force a worker to work the holiday and protects them from retribution by the employer if they choose not to work the day.