Houses in Nicoya and Santa Cruz Are a Treasure of Art, History and Culture

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Modernization and the passing of time seem to be slowly erasing the history and traditions that were once so alive in the province of Guanacaste. One example of this is architecture, a cultural heritage that is seen in the streets every day and is available to everyone. It preserves the essence of the past, a remnant of what once was.

The Voice of Guanacaste captured the essence of vernacular Guanacaste architecture that dates back more than 150 years. Vernacular architecture is architecture that is considered the most authentic regional tradition with the characteristic of adapting to the local environment.

The sampling was taken in the streets of Nicoya and Santa Cruz in the company of Guanacaste architect Mauricio Quiros, who explained that most of these houses were made with traditional techniques by hand with machetes, with species of very hard wood and few nails.

At first glance, the architecture seems simple, but it has a lot of detail when viewed closely: frames and baseboards that enhanced the facades and the interior, corridors to sit and chat and sliding windows, wood floors, dirt floors and some decorative details from European influences.

The original color was that of the wood, but now they are distinguished by their vibrant colors.

They stopped building these types of buildings shortly after the decade of the 50s.

Since then, some continue to be used as houses and retain their characteristics intact. Others seem to be ticking time bombs waiting to be demolished, while some continue to be used as guesthouses, museums or small convenience stores (called pulperias).