Costa Rica


It was created by the Law. No. 8 of November 27, 1906. It is composed by 3 volcanos that represent the country’s 3 mountain ranges and the valley, dividing the two oceans navigated by ships, symbols of the Caribbean and Pacific ports. A rising sun indicating the birth of the new republic and five stars. In October of 1964, two more stars were added.

National Anthem

Noble homeland, your beautiful flag Gives us and expression of your life ‘Neath the limpid blue of your sky White and pure rests the peace. In the tenacious fight of fertile work That ages man face Your children, simple peasants, Conquered eternal prestige, respect and honor. Hail, oh generous land! Hail, oh mother of love! When someone seeks to stain you your glory You’ll see your valiant and virile peopleExchange the Tuscan tools for weapons.

National Symbols

The Wagon:The wagon was declared a national symbol on march, 22 of 1988, during the administration of Dr. Oscar Arias Sánchez, as a tribute to the work of Costa Ricans. The golden age of wagon may be set from 1850 to 1935. According to historians, it was born from something similar to the one spanishs brought and it was called "cureña", wich was used to carry the artillery cannon. Since mid XIX century, with the expanse of coffee cultivations, with inclined and covered of mud plots of land, during the months of carrying, wagons with solid wheels won preference, in order to avoid the accumulation of mud within the spokes. The technique to build evolved quickly, colors and designs have made up a particular feature of the country. It´s used in all Central America, however, the national is the only one wich is decorated with geometric figures, flowers and animals. Though the decorative reasons have obvious similarities, it can be claim that there aren´t two wagons with the same decoration, details and pictures are always changing, because that´s what the artist´s dignity demands. The wagon proclaims the simplicity and aspirations of a rural and artisan Costa Rica. For a hundred years, until the show up of vehicles, decorated wagons were the axis of the economic development. Later with the strengthening of the coffee activity, its use was intensified; both coffee and wagon guaranteed the determination of Costa Rica to develop and generate public wealth.

National Dance

The punto guanacasteco

National Flora

The national flower is the Purple Guaria (Cattleya skinnery).

National Tree

The tree of Guanacaste (Enterolobium cyclocarpum), was declared as national tree by decree on august, 31,1959, during the administration of Lic. Mario Echandi Jiménez. It happened due to a campaing carried by the chairman of the desaparecido newspaper La Tribuna, as a tribute to the gesture of the guanacastecos to annex to the country on 1825. Besides, for many citizens the huge shadow this tree offers, is like the protection given by the State to all the costa ricans. The name of Guanacaste comes from the aztec language "Guautil" (tree) and "Nacaztli" (ear), something like the tree who hears. This is due to the shape of its fruits, a touhg pods with a brilliant coffee color, with ear shape. Its fruits represent a quite important source of food for the wild fauna on summer. It is a tree wich needs lots of water, light and sun. It can be fifteen meters tall and the diameter of its log can be of four meters. Its bark is thick and harsh with a gray color. It´s used to tan skins; besides, it´s cruched, fermented and the liquid is used to wash the clothes. It has big leafs, composed by several little leaves, alterns, wich conserve their green color during eight to nine months a year. The flowers are small, with a dot en forma de motitas boleadas de estambres very long with a yellow color white, they are born small groups and they aren´t coloful; they bloom when the tree is already covered of a tender foliage on may and june and they belong to the group of the more nectar producers flowers. This tree lives far from the rivers of meadows and streams, sometimes in soft hills, occasionally it´s used as ornament tree. It´s considered as a lively tree, due to its power and long live up to 60 to 70 years old. It´s considered as specie in danger, as it has a top quality wood, wich is used in the manufacturede of luxury furniture, heavy and everlasting.

National Animal

Yigüirro (Turdus grayi) was declared national bird on november, 1976, during the administration of Lic. Daniel Oduber Quirós. It´s election was thanks to a proyect of Don Eliseo Gamboa, who considered it important in the folklor, the literature and the costa rican music, because its name is usually mentioned in tipical songs, tales and literarian work of national author like Juan Varela and Marcos Ramírez. This bird has been very familiar for costa ricans since long time ago; its known and melodic chant, has always been related by the farmers with the rain fall to improve the harvest, besides it lives close to men. It´s also known the affinity between the bird with its modest plumage, singing or jumping near to the truck farm, with the farmer and his modest clothes. The relation between its chant and the rain, is related with the begining of the nesting season, from march to july, when males upon singing proclaim a territory where, with their couple, they will raise their young bird. In this place, the male won´t tolerate the presence of other yigüirros and he will even attack the intruders as squirrels. This bird can be between 22 and 24 cm. Both sex have identical plumage, with its yellow brownish-gray color, clearer up to the throat and the abdomen. The younger have black spots in their chest and beige spots in the wings, besides, the color of their iris is more coffee than adult´s. The habitat of this bird, is preferably in opened places and it can be found in gardens, farm areas, fields with aislated trees, but it doesn´t enter into the jungle. It eats several kinds of fruits taken from the trees or small bugs hunted in the ground. This specie can be only found in the american continent, where it lives from northest of México to the north of Colombia, places where it receives different names, just like cas-cas in Panama. The White-Tail Deer: The Deer with the White Tail was declared National Symbol, during the administration of José María Figueres Olsen, on may, 2, 1995. This specie is native from the american continent. It´s a medium deer, thin and wiht long legs. It´s coffee colored and in the inner part it´s white. In Costa Rica is hard to see it, because it´s a specie in danger of extinction due to the ilegal hunting or because, due to urban development reasons, it has been losing its habitat. It can live close to the sea or in the hills of mountains. The grasslands of Guanacaste have been its home, specially the National Park of Santa Rosa.

National Poet

Aquileo J. Echeverría was a sincere, modest and generous poet, born in Heredia, and considered the National Poet of Costa Rica. His three great loves were his short family, his native town and the poetry. He worked as a public employee, military diplomatic and journalist. He visited Paris when he wasn´t healthy to enjoy it. From Paris he went to Spain, where he died in a sanatorium of Barcelona, on march, 11, 1909, two months and some days been forty years old. He wrote a vast poetic work mostly charactericed by his concherías, action or the expression similar to farmer´s, wich comes from the word ¨concho¨ as a denomination for the farmer or villager. As a tribute to his name there is an important National Price Aquileo J. Echeverría, wich is awarded to those artists who are remarkable in different fields of the national culture.

National Sports

Football is the national sport of Costa Rica. It was taken to the country in late XIX century, british businessmen who came to install the streetcar in San José, in the 80s, practiced it at the northeast side of the Sabana, a hundred meters away from the place where the seat of the Defensoría of People is located nowadays. Step by step, the ticos started getting interesed for the new sport. When time went by, groups who practiced football frequently appeared. Years later, this atractive and novel sport was turnning stronger. In the early XX century, many teams were already organized, enthusiastic leaders participated were part of them, with the idea of promove football. The Sabana became into the center of the footballing activity of the country. It was commun to see a new team with the intetion to participate in the activities scheduled sunday by sunday. One day, emerged the new that a group of young and enthusiastic sportsmen were meeting some days, with the gool to organize the football, creating an organization to rule. The gool was praiseworthy and it was well inspired that such organization should be established as the unique way to save the football, it was tried to be carried up two times, the first one on 1901 and the second one on 1912 wich, unfortunately became a real failure. Seven were the clubs interested in giving shape and live to the National League of FootBall, the same name wore by the movement on 1901 and 1912. Those clubs were the following: Club Sport Freedom, Gymnastic Spanish Society from San José, Club Sport Herediano, Alajuelense Sport League, Club Sport Cartaginés, Club Sport The Union of Three Rivers and the Limonense Gymnastic Society . When the moment arrived each one of this clubs would designate a Delegate who would perform as its representative , with full powers. The chosen were for Club Sport Freedom, Manuel Rodríguez Torra; for the Gymnastic Spanish Society, el Lic. José Albertazzi Avendaño; for the Club Sport Herediano, Joaquín Manuel Gutiérrez Sedó; for the Alajuelense Sport League, Rodolfo Castaing Castro; for the Club Sport Cartaginés, Luciano Arias Umaña; for the Club Sport The Union, Joaquín Vargas Coto and for the Limonense Gymnastic Society, Fernando Streber Muñoz. On june, 1, 1921, the first meeting took place by the representatives of the clubs wich would became part of the National League, it was developed in one of the halls of the Education Committee of San José. And so on until june, 13 when the Directive Committee is established with the rules of the League. From this meeting were constituted the Committee that would be in charged of the organization and the First Directory integrated by a president and a vice president, a secretary, a treasurer and three members. As the Supreme Court was integrated by the president, a secretary and three members. Amog the competitors of the first official football champoinship carried out in the country, the following clubs participated: C.S. Freedom, C.S. Cartaginés, Spanish Gymnastic Society, L.D. Alajuelense, C.S. Herediano, S.G. Limonense y la C.S. The Union. The first national champion was the Club Sport Herediano. The first official game took place in Puerto Limón, between Club Sport Freedom and the local team, Limonense Gymnastic Society, on july, 3, 1921. The referee was, Juan Rafael Bonilla and Freedom won 1 over 0 with Rafael A. (Macho) Madrigal´s scored. During the 75 years of national team the following results have been achieved: - Winner of the Central American Games of the Independence´s Centenarian(1921). - Champion of the Central American and Caribbean Football Tournament (1941, 1946, 1948, 1953, 1955, 1960 y 1961). - Champion of UNCAF (1991, 1997, 1999). - Champion of CONCACAF (1963, 1969 y 1989). - Panamerican Sport Games (silver medal on 1951). - Football Panamerican (third position, after Brazil and Argentina 1956). - Central American and Caribbean Sport Games (Silver medal on 1930, 1935 and 1938, bronze medal on 1990.) - Central American Sport Games (Silver medal on 1990). - Central American and Caribbean Junior Football Champion (1954 and 1960). - Junior Champion of CONCACAF (1988). - Champion of the Junior Centro American Tournament (UCA) of Football (1976). Costa rican football players have been the winners of: - Junior Supercup Tournament of Miami (1988) - Junior Tournament The Sun, Mérida, Mexico (1989) - President Cup of China´s Republic in Taiwan (1990) - International Quadrangular of Caracas, Venezuela (1990). - International Quadrangular of the Raza, San José, Costa Rica (1990). World Tournaments: - Olimpic Games of Moscu 80, position Nº 16. - Olimpic Games of Los Ángeles 84, position Nº 13. - Children’s World Champion of China 85, position Nº 16. - Junior World Champion Saudi Arabia 89, position Nº 14. - Mayor World Champion Italy 90, position Nº 13. - Junior World Champion Qatar 95, position 10. - Children´s World Champion Ecuador 95, position Nº 13. - Children´s World Champion Japan 97. - Junior World Champion Malasia 97. - Junior World Champion Nigeria 99.


The National Hero of Costa Rica is Juan Santamaría. Recognized as such since the iniciative of panamanian José Obaldía in 1861. Santamaría was born in Alajuela in 1831. He is described by several authors as a young man, modest, hard-working, happy and brave. He died in 1856, when he was 25 years old. He joined up the trops under the command of brave militar named José María Cañas; native from Salvador and who had the rank of General, taking care of the drum beatting the rhythm of the farmers who integrated alajuelenses trops. Santamaría´s celebrity is due to historical event, taken placen during the decisive clash of Rivas´s Campaigne, the morning of april, 2, 1856. The act of sacrifece of Juan Santamaría consisted in taking the tea, bravely, in order to burn the meson of war, where enemy trops were based. Upon doing that, he freed the costa rican trops from filibusters and slavery, also terminating the aspirations of William Walter, who was entrenched with his soldiers in the meson. He was wounded in his right arm, but he always had the opportunity to accomplish his mission, he fell in the land looking to th sky, convenced that his mission had been consummated. In Alajuela, there is a park carrying his name, there is a bronze statue in tribute to him, with two cannons from his times. In that park there are also 7 plaques where the names of some brave men who died in the same battle of Rivas in 1856, were written.