26 April 2017

Costa Rica III: Semana Santa

Catholic Chursh in San Jose, CR

Semana Santa is a full week off for hard working Ticos (the Costa Rican People). A religious holiday that commemorates Passover, Jesus’ Crucifixion, and Resurrection. I asked villagers in Puerto Viejo, “donde esta las iglesias?” where are the churches, I got mostly smirks and one incredulous look. The answer I heard was that many Costa Ricans are not religious, and that this is mostly just a week to unwind.

As far as I’m concerned—knowing how hard Ticos work—that’s close enough to religion for me. Several of the locals, on whom I practiced my pigeon-Spanish, let me in on the details of their normal work week; one full day on, followed by one full day off, and repeat. Full day meaning that they work from 8am (or earlier) until 10 o’clock at night.

It's important to unwind completely, when one works so hard.

In Puerto Viejo de Talamanca there have been growing crowds all week.

In past years we saw that people began pouring in to this quiet town around mid-late week. This time around it’s definitely been a full week before Easter Sunday when the arrivals pull in. The forecast Friday/Saturday rain may have also helped Ticos to decide on an earlier visit rather than just the weekend.

Planes fly low, overhead.
On Viernes (Thursday), the police closed one road into town and there is now a midway set up on the coral beachfront. Think cotton candy, fairground rides, bikini tops and bare feet, girded by coconut palms.

Even 2 miles outside of town, where we live, we get the sounds of celebration across the water, on the wind. I was happy to hear that even after 20 years, people still love Elvis Crespo!

The only constant is change, I suppose.