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    Posted September 7, 2013 by
    Heredia, Costa Rica
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Central American Independence Day

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    Costa Rican Faroles

    Independence Day in Costa Rica begins with a parade on the evening of September 14th with school bands and faroles, colorful lanterns or luminaries carried on short staffs by children. Generally, families and teachers march together along a designated route, often ending up at the town park.

    The symbolism of the farol is to commemorate Dolores Bedoya who carried a lantern through the streets of Guatemala on the evening of September 14th, 1821 to urge people to support independence.

    Preparation starts well in advance. School bands start intense practice by the middle of August and farol makers are hard at work months before. Many children make their own faroles as craft projects.

    The farol shop pictured here is a small family business, run by a young woman named Anita. She spends all year collecting material to recycle into faroles – plastic bottles, cardboard boxes, fabric, etc. For several weeks leading up to September 15th, her house becomes a wonderland of delightful faroles.
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