Thursday 30 November 2023

How Independence celebrated in Costa Rica: the Independence Torch

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30 November 2023 - At The Banks - Source: BCCR

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QCOSTARICA – Every September 13, the Antorcha de la Independencia (Independence Torch) passes from  Nicaragua and Costa Rica, where the Government of the neighboring country delivers the torch to the Costa Rican Ministry of Public Education.

The torch is then carried, in tandem, by students from different areas of the country, who are previously chosen by their educational centers and, in general, are outstanding students for their good grades.

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The tradition, which began more than half a century ago, at the end of the fifties, as an initiative of Professor Alfredo Cruz Bolaños, who at that time served as supervisor of Public Education.

The Antorcha has become a symbol of national freedom.

Read more: The Torch of Independence does not go out: follow the tour virtually

This year, 2021, Costa Rica celebrates 200 years of independence.

“It is 1821, in Guatemala City the Act of Independence of the Central American peoples from Spain is proclaimed. From that moment on, Costa Rica is no longer under Spanish rule and becomes the Federation of Central American States.” (Source:

Costa Rica finally became a completely independent nation in 1838, when it separated from the Central American Republic.

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In this way, Costa Rica began a new stage in its history by becoming a free and independent Nation.

This year, the tradition of celebrating the day on the 15th is interrupted. Costa Rica’s legislators passed a bill that moves the holiday to the closest Monday. Thus, this weekend is a long weekend.

However, that political change enacted to spur local tourism does not affect the carrying of the torch.


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