This year, acts in celebration of the arrival of the torch of independence will take place earlier in the streets of Nicoya.
The tour will begin at 6 am on Saturday, September 14th at the Fray Bartolome de las Casas School (Friar Bartholomew of the Homes) in Nambí, where the torch will be lit symbolically to begin the journey that will conclude at the town hall of Nicoya.
There, more students will take the fire to be transferred to other educational institutions of the canton.
Meanwhile, the official torch from Guatemala should arrive around 11:00 AM in the place known as “Chumico,” which is the boundary between Santa Cruz and Nicoya.
The flaming torch is a symbol of the independence of Costa Rica and since 1964 it has been carried throughout all of Central America as a representation of the postal delivery that, in 1821, brought the news of freedom from Guatemala to Cartago, the former capital of Costa Rica.
According to Efrain Baltodano, Educational Supervisor for Circuit 01 of the Regional Education Directorate of Nicoya, the decision was taken to protect the physical integrity students participating in the event and to achieve greater participation.
“We made an agreement between directors for not performing the tour of the torch at night; the idea is that students enjoy the activity by day. The other aspect is the participation of the people; before we would arrive with the torch around 2:00 AM in Nicoya and we were greeted by only a few people, which makes no sense,” said Baltodano.
Afterwards, at 6:00 PM, a public ceremony will be conducted in the Colonial Square (Plazoleta Colonial) in which there will be a commemoration of the significance of the historic feat of 1821 with the signing of the Declaration of Independence, in order to then proceed with the lantern parade through the streets of canton.
Sunday the 15th at 7:00 AM there will be a public ceremony at the town hall of Nicoya by students of the night high school of Nicoya and at 8:00 AM the parade of bands will begin, which will start in front of the courts and will culminate in the Colonial Square.
Regarding that parade, Ministry of Education (MEP – Ministerio de Educación) has taken measures to make the tour flexible and avoid exposing children and young students to the effects of the sun, or a possible downpour.
“We intend to protect the integrity and health of the students as well as the instruments used in these cases,” said Baltodano.
Baltodano also said that at least 17 regulators will watch over so that the rules suggested by the MEP, in the sense of protecting the physical safety of students, are respected. There has also been coordination with the Red Cross, firemen, transit police and security forces to avoid any accidents.
Independence celebrations were canceled in the Canton of Nicoya last year, due to the risk of landslide that existed, produced by the aftermath of the earthquake of September 5th.