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- Photo via Ministry of Public Education -

Independence Torch to arrive in Costa Rica

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Published on Tuesday, September 12, 2023
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

More than one million students, teachers and citizens, will enjoy the independence festivities this week with parades, lanterns, bands and dances among many other cultural activities as part of the celebration of the 202nd anniversary of independence.

The celebration will begin on Wednesday, Sept. 13, with the arrival of the Torch of Independence, the symbol of freedom, which traditionally travels through Central America from Guatemala to Panama.

It is expected that Katharina Müller-Castro, Minister of Public Education, will cross into Nicaragua, where Lilliam Esperanza Herrera-Moreno, Minister of Education of Nicaragua, will hand over the torch.

Then, upon re-entering the country through the border post in Peñas Blancas Canton in Guanacaste Province, Müller will take the symbol of Central American freedom to a central atrium where it will be delivered to students from local schools. 

They along with an escort provided by the Ministry of Security will travel throughout the country, making frequent stops for students to take turns ushering the torch.

Participants will travel with the torch for about 230 miles from the northern border with Nicaragua to the southern border with Panama.

In the first stage, students will carry the national symbol of freedom on a journey from Peñas Blancas, through the cantons of Liberia, Bagaces to Cañas.

On Sept. 14, students will carry the torch to Esparza Canton in Puntarenas. Then the symbol of freedom will be carried through San Ramón, Palmares, Naranjo, Sarchí, Grecia and Alajuela City, in Alajuela Province.

From the northern province, students will carry the torch to the more central provinces of Heredia and San José. Once in the capital of Costa Rica, authorities are expected to host Independence Day Eve activities at the San José Central Park at 6 p.m.

Then, the torch will continue its journey to the original capital of the country, Cartago Province. The province was the first capital of the country, from 1821 to 1823, before the country established the new capital of Costa Rica in San José Province.

During the torch journey, civic and cultural events are scheduled in the cantons where many citizens gather to welcome the fire representing freedom.

Costa Rica, like the rest of the Central American countries, celebrates its independence from Spain every Sept. 15.

What is your favorite activity during independent festivities this week?  We would like to know your thoughts on this story. Send your comments to news@amcostarica.com