This January, you and your family will no doubt miss taking your chairs to set up wherever Santa Cruz was going to celebrate Cultural Week. The pandemic forced the organizers to cancel in-person activities and compelled them to innovate with a virtual celebration for its 39th year of festivities.
From Friday, January 8 to Wednesday, January 13, 2021, you can enjoy the essence and cultural diversity of the folkloric city’s Cultural Week within your family bubble from the comfort of your home.
For two hours each evening, seven presentations will be broadcast live for your delight from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. through television channels and Facebook Live pages such as TV Chorotega and TV Santa Cruz, explained Randy Juarez, cultural manager for the Municipality of Santa Cruz.
More than 40 artists and groups will be part of the cultural lineup this year, including the Maribel Marimba Orquestra, Carlos Leiton reciting retahílas, which are a form of traditional rhyming word play, the Flor de Caña dance group, the Cañafistula folk ensemble, the Municipal Band and the group La Malacrianza.
The stage will be set up at the Santa Cruz high school, where they will perform their different cultural demonstrations: folk dances, marimba music, parrandera bands, masquerades, ensembles, retahíla recitations…
Recognitions and Organization
Members of the Cultural Association are organizing this year’s events. “They have organized Cultural Week for more than 30 years. They have done it tooth and nail, without a budget, with minimal municipal contributions,” said Juarez. “We want to pay proper tribute to those who are [involved] and even those who have already departed.”
The Ministry of Culture, through the Melico Salazar Theater, will provide the logistics, technological equipment and human resources to broadcast live.
The Municipality of Santa Cruz allocated a budget of ¢20 million (about $33,500) to pay the performers, provide food for participants and rent the Santa Cruz high school facilities, Juarez explained.
We try to have the town itself benefit economically by renting an educational institution in the canton,” said the manager.
“Also, we’re going to pay the performers, one of the professions most affected by the pandemic because they are people who make their living by playing marimbas, or the dance groups that performed at hotels,” he added.
Cultural Week is organized by the Municipality of Santa Cruz, the Melico Salazar Popular Theater, Apuntalando Lo Nuestro, the Cultural Association and the Santa Cruz high school.