- Posted August 19, 2013 by
San Pedro, Costa Rica
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Central American Independence Day
“The atmosphere was very festive, but relaxed,” said the 57-year-old minister and missionary from Springfield, Missouri who now lives in Guatemala.
“Street venders sold ice-cream treats, cotton candy and various independence souvenirs. The streets were full of families with their children as well as many foreigners. People come to the area from around the world for Spanish classes. There were also dozens and dozens of college students as it was only a few blocks from a major university. Many individuals waved a small Costa Rican flag,” he added.
When asked how he thinks the Independence Day celebrations differ in Costa Rica and Guatemals he said: “My perception is that Costa Rica tends to be more homogeneous. It is a smaller nation where a high percentage of citizens will share a common culture. Guatemala has at least 22 different indigenous groups and just over half the population are indigenous. Each group has its own first language, style of dress and culture. While most share the Spanish language and other cultural distinctives, but they are also very individualistic reflecting their paternal heritage.”
Have a look at Mr Amsler’s photos from Guatemala: Guatemalan Independence and Chapin Celebrations
- stinabacker, CNN iReport producer
Several dozen schools participated with percussion bands; drums, xylophones, and marchers with some in typical dress of their forefathers.
Hundreds of spectators lined the street that had been closed to traffic for the parade to pass. The celebration must of lasted at least two hours. One of the crowd favorites was an ox and cart, that has become one of the iconic symbols for Costa Rica.
It was thrilling to be part of an independence day celebration and observe the excitement of Costa Ricans. They like to call themselves "Ticos"