“If we couldn’t, unfortunately, celebrate the 200th anniversary of our homeland independence as we deserved, the Annexation of Guanacaste is going to be a huge party. Sign, minister, sign!”
With these words, President Rodrigo Chaves announced the signing of the decree to form an auxiliary commission for the bicentennial celebration of the Annexation of the Party of Nicoya.
The president and Minister of Culture Nayuribe Guadamuz signed the decree in Recaredo Briceño Park in Nicoya on Monday, July 25. The signing concluded with the minister showing off, once again, her powerful Guanacastecan shout.
A Three-Year Celebration
Vargas, a member of the commission, explained that the commission isn’t an “event producer,” but rather a group that articulates actions so that the bicentennial commemoration takes place. Now that they are no longer a regional commission, they can request to decentralize projects that are national in nature.
Some examples of what they plan to carry out are developing a series of commemorative coins at the national level, having the national athletic games be based in Guanacaste and once again hosting the Gustico Fair.
The commission will also seek to have the province host the International Festival of the Arts in 2024.
“Here, we aren’t going to come fill the position of what the local governments have been doing in their different commemoration activities, but we do want to put a little pressure where it’s needed to promote a project,” explained the manager.
The commemoration won’t be limited to 2024, the date of the bicentennial itself. Instead, it will extend from 2023 to 2025. And in addition, it will be celebrated beyond the borders of the province.
We want it to be celebrated in other parts of the country because there are Guanacastecans everywhere too,” added Vargas.
The commission also has the task of ensuring that artists from Guanacaste can have other places, not just in the Greater Metropolitan Area (GMA), but in the other regions of the country.
A Two-Year Journey
The existence of this commission isn’t something new. In 2020, Vargas herself presented a motion before the Regional Development Council (COREDES for the Spanish acronym) for the Chorotega Region to form a work commission for the bicentennial.
Since last year, the group has been asking the Ministry of Culture for a decree to form it. The only way to achieve this is through the Law on the Formation of the National Commission for Historical Commemorations.
This law, which has existed since the 1970s, forms an auxiliary commission for each specific event, such as the Costa Rican bicentennial or, in this case, the bicentennial commemoration of the annexation. The commission has worked for almost two years to get to the point of the decree being signed.
According to Vargas, one of their pending tasks is to take the proposal to the province’s local governments that still don’t know about it. Some, on the other hand, like the Municipality of Nicoya, have already declared it of interest to the canton. The plan, she said, is “to do the best possible so that these 200 years are felt, because we deserve to celebrate from coast to coast.”