Thursday, July 25, 2019

Odds and Ends

One thing I'd see quite often were small musical groups who played in the pedestrian parkway.  The gentleman in front with the long cylindrical instrument danced all over the place as he played it.  One day, when I passed the group, there were couples dancing in the street having fun.  They also had a basket for people who donated money to them.

Currently, this building is a theater but originally it was associated with the military.  I believe he indicated it was the first barracks or something similar before it became a theater for operas and shows.  The outside sign advertised the coming of Madame Butterfly.  This is located by the huge Cathedral.

This is where the military moved to from the first building.  There are bullet holes in the side from the civil war that happened back in the 1940's.  According to the tour guide, the president in office in 1948 didn't want to give up his position to the newly elected candidate who had served immediately before him.  The rich convinced the president and the army to keep control but the rightfully elected president and his people overthrew them and he took control.  Then he abolished the military and established a large police force.  The bullet holes in this building are from that brief 40 day revolution in which 2000 people died.  This building is now a national museum and people are proud they do not have a standing army.

The president eliminated the army and used the money to establish free education including college, free medical, pensions, and wanted to make sure that everyone had a job.  The guide told us that the government encourages small business owners which is why there are few large businesses.  The building above with the yellow top is the state insurance company to whom people pay about 9% of their monthly earnings.  In return, they get free medical and a retirement pension.  

What you see in the above photo is the new congress building being constructed.  Right now, the lawmakers are meeting in several different places and this building will put them all in one place.  there is another building being built off to the right, just past the edge of the photo.  That building is going to be the new Supreme Court building.  They hope to finish both within the next year.

This is the cultural plaza for people to provide music, dances, and all sorts of fun things.  Its just next to the National Theater, the Grand Hotel, and above the Museum Or or Gold Museum.  The tour guide said all sorts of cultural activities happen here.

This is my last post on Costa Rica.  I have enjoyed my visit and I plan to go back some day to check out the other side of the country.  I read where Costa Rica is rated number one for happiness in Latin America and twelfth world wide for happiness.  The only issue I had was that my Spanish is quite limited but that didn't stop me from managing to enjoy myself, shop, or communicate.   If you know any Spanish, brush up on it before you go.

By the time you read this, I'll be in Los Angeles at a conference where I'm presenting on two topics.  I hope you enjoyed the series on things to see in Costa Rica.  There is so much more to see but I didn't have time and that is one reason I need to go back.

Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

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