The complete route of the torch is published on the Virtual Torch website, where they will also display an actualized countdown
for this patriotic activity.  - Ministry of Public Education courtesy photo -

Published Monday, September 14, 2020

Independence torch route held virtually

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Ministry of Public Education announced that this year due to the covid-19 pandemic, the route of the Central American Torch of Freedom, the so-called independence torch, will be live streamed. The government will not allow an agglomeration of people, hence the new virtual route.

Last year, young students ran in relays carrying the torch of independence from the border with Nicaragua to the border with Panama. This year, the Minister of Health has banned mass activities as a measure to avoid the spread of covid-19.

The complete route of the torch is published on the Virtual Torch website, where they will also display an actualized countdown for this patriotic activity.

This cross-country celebration has been held since September 14, 1964 when Alfredo Cruz Bolaños, a Physical Education teacher, led the first independence torch route. The run symbolizes the act of how the news announcing the independence of Central America was announced in 1821. People lit the way with torches, from Guatemala down through Central America ending in Costa Rica.

The independence day tradition began on Saturday at 11 a.m. when the torch reached the border post of Peña Blancas on the border with Nicaragua. From there, it moves south throughout the country until it reaches the city of Cartago today at 6 p.m. That is an approximate trek of 373 kilometers traveled.

In Cartago Province, as is tradition on September 14, President Carlos Alvarado, will lead the Government Council in that province municipality.

The torch's path will also be streamed via the ministry's YouTube page.

Last week, the Ministry of Culture announced that this year, the Independence Day celebration activities will be streaming on Facebook.

Among the activities planned for broadcast are the concerts of the municipal bands, which will perform patriotic music.

The presentations will begin on September 14 and 15 and available to the public via the
Facebook page of the  the Ministry of Culture.

“Despite the health situation that the country is experiencing, and the world, we do not want to miss the opportunity to celebrate our country, as we have done through so many years on this date as a priority for Costa Rica, as our Independence is," said José Manuel Aguilar Sáenz, Bands general director.

Today, Sept. 14, the concerts will begin at 6 p.m. On Tuesday, Sept. 15, the concerts will be broadcasted starting at 9 a.m.

Tomorrow marks 199 years since Guatemala City hosted a congress of criollos in 1821 enacting the Act of Independence of Central America. From that moment on, Costa Rica was no longer under the rule of Spain and formed part of the Federation of Central America.

Every year, on the eve of Independence Day, it is tradition for parades (so-called faroles) to mark the beginning of the celebrations in Costa Rica. On the day of, there are school parades, dances, community festivals, fireworks in almost all communities and public events organized by the government authorities. All those activities, as mass public events, were canceled due to the pandemic.

Have experienced the passing of the independence torch in previous years? 
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