As I walked to town, the streets were empty! Atenas, Costa Rica
Even around Central Park Atenas, Costa Rica
Every store is closed except Supermarkets & the Gasolinera that will close early. Atenas, Costa Rica
Many homes had added new, bigger decorations. Atenas, Costa Rica
Even the Catholic Church added a similar new decoration. Atenas, Costa Rica
And people will be coming and going from the catholic church all day (all week!). The only activity. Atenas, Costa Rica
And you might ask, “What about the non-religious?” Well, they are the ones filling the public beaches this week and fishing on the lakes and other “vacation” activities. One family I know is spending the whole week at the nearest beach. Semana Santaor “Holy Week” or “Easter Week” is not the best beach time for tourists, though most locals try to use different beaches and try to avoid tourists, but not totally possible, especially at Jaco, the closest big beach town to San Jose.
The smaller number of evangelicals and protestants in Costa Rica have a less dramatic emphasis on Easter and some expats, like the “new community” here at Iglesia Biblical have special activities they did back home. Ours did a Maundy Thursday Lord’s Supper or Communion Service Thursday night and some will meet at a member’s house at Sunrise Easter Morning for a Sunrise Service – which will be a good excuse for not attending the Spanish Language Easter Service at the church later.
Hotel restaurants have to be open on Easter, but not many others will and even the supermarkets will have very limited hours on Easter. But this year will not have the usual Easter pageantry in the streets by law, since the first Sunday of April is Election Day and no public activities are allowed to compete with voting (only worship inside a church building). Meaning that many people will leave their church of whatever variety and go straight to the voting places where the unqualified, anti-Gay presidential candidate (an evangelical gospel singer) is expected to narrowly win the election in this conservative Catholic country.