Usually with the arrival of Semana Santa, municipalities across the country take the necessary measures to prohibit the sale of alcoholic beverages.
This year, changes to the Ley de Regulación y Comercialización de Bebidas con Contenido Alcohólico (Regulatory and Marketing Act of Alcoholic Beverages Act), allow local municipalities the decision to keep the traditions of the “Ley Seca” (Dry Law) or allows the taps to flow.
While the prohibition is no longer compulsory, the tradition of Thursdays and Fridays of Semana Santa (Easter Week) as “dry” days in Costa Rica, seems to continue when supermarkets, restaurants, bars, etc. have to hide away their liquor and suspend their sales from 12:01am Thursday to midnight Friday.
So far the town of Nicoya on the Pacific coast is the only local government decided against the prohibition.
This year, residents of the Guanacaste town can buy alcoholic beverages through the “Holy” days. Marco Antonio Jiménez, mayor of Nicoya, using the new law and justifies the decision by saying that the prohibition would negatively affect the local economy.
“The tourism industry is very important in our county where every year during this period hotels, cabins and hundreds of other businesses such as restaurants or sodas welcome thousands of national and foreign visitors, therefore, we consider that this measure (no prohibition) helps the local economy,” said Jiménez.
For the mayor, removing the prohibition it will also help local tourism recover from last year’s September 5 earthquake that hit Nicoya the hardest.
Jiménez added that this (the removal of prohibition) will be a show of confidence that the town can celebrate religious ceremonies in moderation.