During my time abroad in Costa Rica I have been studying two completely opposite courses. One class focuses on nature and how to be a conscious citizen especially when you are traveling abroad. The other class focuses on the Spanish Civil War. However, I would have loved to learn more about the history of Costa Rica. I have always been very interested in the history of the places I visit.
Thankfully I was able to receive a mini lesson on Costa Rica’s history from the schools director. Our group visited Costa Rica’s capital, San Jose. From Heredia we took a passenger train to San Jose. This railroad track was was built in 1910 and was used to transport coffee, which was the most important export in Costa Rica, to the Atlantic ocean. Since it was built to transport coffee from the central valley to the Atlantic ocean it has kept it original design of being a monorail track. This passenger train is a great mode of transportation not only because it costs less than $1.00 U.S. dollar to ride, but it is also the fastest way to arrive to your destination without fighting traffic.
National Monument in Central Park, San Jose, Costa Rica
After the train ride we visited central park which has the famous bronze National Monument of Costa Rica. This monument represents the five original Central American countries that were involved in the National Campaign or also known as the War of 1856-57. This war was fought against William Walker, a Tennessee native, that wanted to conquer Costa Rica after declaring himself as the president of Nicaragua. The countries that participated in the National Campaign, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, are represented by five women. The statue also has shows William Walker fleeing and running over a dead soldier. I was very excited to learn that each country is represented by a strong and invulnerable woman.
National Museum of Costa Rica
The National Museum of Costa Rica use to be a moving museum that did not have a stable home. After the abolition of the Costa Rican Army in 1948 the once Army Bellavista Headquarters building was given to the National Museum. This place has been the National Museum’s home since 1950. The National Museum of Costa Rica has many must see exhibits. They have a temporary exhibit of animal legends and nursing. They also have a permanent exhibit that relates the history of Costa Rica from Pre-Columbian to present time.
This was the last week of weekly excursions and it was amazing! I learned so much information about each place. This made me feel less of a tourist and more like a traveler.
La Paz Waterfall Garden
The fist stop was La Paz Waterfall Garden in Alajuela, Costa Rica. This private nature park and animal sanctuary was spectacular. All of the animals in La Paz Wildlife Refuge are animals that were once illegally kept as pets and for various reasons they are not able to be released back into the wild.
Doka Estate Coffee Tour
At Doka we were able to tour the factory where the coffee is made. At Doka the coffee is still processed as it was in 1919. They have the oldest Wet Mill in Costa Rica. Doka Estate is perfectly located by volcano Poás making it perfect land to grow coffee. I am not a big coffee drinker but the coffee at Doka was great!
*Bonus* Concacaf Gold Cup Game: Costa Rica VS Nicaragua
If you are ever in Costa Rica and the home team is playing you must go to a game. Ticos are very passionate about soccer! The fans were constantly rooting for the players and the atmosphere was amazing. I really enjoy watching and playing soccer so I had to go to the game and support the home team.