Special Stories

8 pioneering women in Guanacaste: A tribute to those who open the way for equality

Esta publicación también está disponible en: Español
Translator: Arianna Hernández

Margarita Marchena employed all of the women that she could in Santa Cruz’s famous  Coopetortillas restaurant. She wanted to see more and more women from Guanacaste capable of earning money for themselves. She was convinced that this was how her community would be filled with strong, independent and free women. 

It wasn’t just a bright idea. Since she was very little, her mom passed on to her an idea that came from their ancestors: To live in this world of inequality, she would have to work twice as hard. In the end, this sacrifice provided a better life to the boys and girls that would come after her. 

The way we live today is possible thanks to dozens of women like Margarita. With their firm steps over rocky terrain, they outlined the route that we women walk today in Guanacaste, a route that still has obstacles but that is full of a sisterhood that makes us move forward,  thirsty for a better future.  

This was also done by Maria Leal in education, Rosa Alpina in politics and Lia Bonilla in culture. This is still being done today by Jennifer Powers in conserving the dry forest, Jimena Ruiz in sports, Lucrecia Pastrana in fighting fires and Joss Murillo in the struggle to make diversity visible.

These eight women that we present in recognition of this International Women’s Day represent hundreds more who decided one day to break the chains and pursue their own dreams of a world with full equality.  

To you women, thank you for opening the way for us!

Maria Leal: the teacher of Guanacastecan tales who has been compared with Carmen Lyra

Joss Murillo: The Tilaran native who battled to be a woman freely and a dentist

Margarita Marchena: the female struggle behind Santa Cruz’s Coopetortillas

Jennifer Powers: Behind the conservation of her second home

Jimena Ruiz: The Nosaran who surfs through barriers

Rosa Alpina Aiza: The Nicoyan who paved the way as the first Guanacastecan woman in Congress

Lía Bonilla, the scholar of Guanacaste costumes and dance

Lucrecia Pastrana: The Guanacaste Woman Has Fought Fires for Two Decades