All the Schools Prepare for Independence Day Parade
The high school bands have been practicing too with the same monotonous drum beat that it seems all the bands use. Note in the photo above two interesting facts that tell about the culture or a small town: (1) The band director is almost a kid himself, first job out of college as a low-paid music teacher in rural elementary school. (2) All the girls play a xylophone and all the boys play a drum, either snare or bass. 🙂 I regret that I will miss this year’s parade, but I’ve seen it several times! 🙂
My Friday Night Treat
Every Friday night I have my one steak a week at Parrillada Androvetto which has a big platform deck overlooking the surrounding hills and the Public Cemetery above. Tonight the clouds hung low on the hills, but still no rain. Yes, it is now a semi-drought for rainy season. Met a nice young couple at Androvetto from Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. I like the “Small World” effect of living in Costa Rica!
Whale-Watching Starts Sunday
Sunday morning I fly to Palmar Sur and check in to the Cristal Ballena Hotel in Uvita for the week where I will go Whale Watching on Monday for the first time in my long life and if satisfied (get whale photos) I will use the rest of the week to photo birds and a very special Nauyaca Waterfalls one day. I drove through Uvita on the 2014 Relocation Tour and have flown over its famous “Whale’s Tail Beach” in my photo below from a Carcovado trip.
Here is the schedule of Christmas Festivities at Central Park Atenas with the stage being on government property across the street this year with park being remodeled. Lots of music and a lanterns parade at night plus more with vendor booths set up on the outer edges of the park — remodeling not stopping the Christmas Spirit in Atenas! It will be HAPPY, HAPPY as always and I’m sorry I will miss it this year again as I am traveling for Christmas (Which is a very Tico thing to do!). 🙂
And they just added some more activities for Christmas:
If you click the above image it is larger in its original location
And that is the official Atenas Community fiestas. Every church has at least one Christmas Eve service and the big catholic church multiple masses both days. Many Tico families have 1 to 2 weeks vacation and travel to a beach, usually the week between Christmas and New Years (when most businesses are closed).
Expats vary a lot in what they do. Several always go home to the States, Canada or Europe for Christmas with family. Some have family come here. And the “Snow Birds” came here for their Christmas or multi-months escape from snow and cold weather. Our Expat “Men’s Club” (misnamed) went yesterday (the 16th) to San Ramon for a Dinner Theatre Christmas Madrigal Old English Show or something like that. I went this year and reported yesterday.
Then there’s me – like a real Tico now, I’m going to the beach again but will spend most of my time in the forest at and near Manuel Antonio National Park in a private wildlife refuge and resort called Si Como No, which in español literally means “Yes, of course,” or “Yes, why not?” indicative of the positive spirit of life here in Costa Rica! And I will photograph birds of course! ¡Pura Vida!
Considering a move to Costa Rica? If so, and you find online research confusing or overwhelming, then read this Christopher Howard article on All Over the Map Syndrome. Although he is a little arrogant, he still has the best relocation tour of Costa Rica and his tour combined with the ARCR Seminar is one of the best ways to filter through the onslaught of information you may be finding. I credit those two events with properly preparing me for my successful move here along with a positive attitude and an already established love of the Costa Rica Culture and nature places. Before you move here, visit several times (consider the fun Caravan.com Costa Rica tour) and then go on his “Live In Costa Rica Combination Tour” coupled with the ARCR Seminar and you will be much better prepared. People who just come and try to figure it all out when they get here are usually in the 40% who end up going back to the states, Canada or wherever “home” was before. “Be Prepared!” 🙂
Sometimes the people watching the parade are the most interesting thing seen! 🙂 The family portrait above tells a story, I think! And of course the children are always the most photogenic! This slideshow is my last on this year’s Independence Day Parade. See if you can find the 4 people with eyes glued to their device screens (2 are above). Cell phones dominate people around the world! 🙂
And next year I’m adding a new parade by going to the Caribe during Carnival! I’ll photograph the smaller one in Puerto Viejo and not the big one in Limon where I’ve heard it can be dangerous. I don’t want to lose my cameras again! (I was at the Puntarenas Carnival Parade my first year here when my camera bag was snatched from a sidewalk cafe.) But anyway, more parades coming!
¡Larga vida a Costa Rica!
Slideshow: Independence Day Parade Atenas – Audience
It is the one patriotic parade of the year so of course it has to have lots of flags! From the primary school through high schools are flags here and though no good pix, there were some with adults representing the Fire Department and Red Cross. Here’s a few of the students with flags in a short slideshow:
The children were the main part of the parade this year with respect to the teens. They are taught that this is a historical event and thus most are dressed in historical clothing for the parade. And of course kids are cute and make good photos, so enjoy the slide show of kids in the parade and later will be a post of the audience which includes a lot more kids.
“Quince de septiembre” (fifteenth of September) is the more common name kind of like “4th of July” is probably used more in the states than “Independence Day.”
There is a nation-wide strike going on in Costa Rica, so it affected some aspects of the parade this year with nothing from the university in parade but all the local and neighboring schools were happy to make it almost a nino parade, which is fine! Today’s post is just some of the bands with other aspects of parade in the next few days. Note that here bands are all dominated by both drums and boys, though more difficult instruments are more likely played by girls. Another day I will show dancing which is almost all girls and so it goes as cultures, femininity and masculinity struggle everywhere, especially in schools. 🙂
Slideshow: School Bands in Atenas Independence Day Parade
I’m guessing that only 6th & 7th Graders are in the band and maybe 5th Graders. And it must count as PE or Physical Education because those green & blue uniforms are their PE uniforms, while the two boys in white shirts and black pants are in their school or classroom uniform.
It is almost all drums in all the bands here, this one with cymbals and some kind of scrappy rhythm instrument on the back row. I’m guessing again that is because of lack of money for instruments and music teachers or a priorities thing. The high school bands usually have a few girls playing xylophone with some bigger cities adding brass and reed instruments, but not many.
The group above is practicing in the city sports park across the street from the Primary School, Escuela Central. And I suspect they are getting ready for the September 15 Independence Day Parade and subsequently the December Christmas Parade. I admire the few girls who play drums which the boys tend to dominate here (and maybe everywhere).
Life in a small farming town in Costa Rica! ¡Pura Vida!
See also my PEOPLE & FIESTAS Photo Gallery for the bands marching in the parades.
Rural Families is always the focus of Atenas’ Annual Oxcart Parade, last Weekend of April. Atenas, Costa Rica
Here a teen is the “Boyero” (Oxen Master) with sis in cart and Mom & Dad Walking behind Atenas, Costa Rica
One of the many colorful Oxcart Wheels Oxcart Parade, Atenas, Costa Rica
A few Oxen are entered into the contest without carts, some by older children or teens I guess it is like FFA in the States or other programs to help budding farmers. Atenas, Costa Rica
Last year our local University provided Latin Dancers – This year a team of ropers! Oxcart Parade, Atenas, Costa Rica
The university campus on the edge of Atenas is one of the many UTN (Universidad Técnica Nacional), this one focusing on farming with students coming from all over Latin America as possibly the best agricultural school in Latin America or at least the best in Central America. They are good about participating in major local events like this – good neighbors! Good citizens! We like our student farmers at UTN!
Though I’ve seen them before, I always enjoy! They’re good! Oxcart Parade, Atenas, Costa Rica
PEOPLE! You will have to go to my online gallery to see my interesting people shots. And there are always some very interesting and colorful people! Oxcart Parade, Atenas, Costa Rica
I know that I still post too many photos for a blog, but I have so many more interesting photos I want to share, thus it has to be on the photo gallery: 2018 Oxcart Parade. I’m working on it now and will try to finish today or tomorrow. Takes time!
This gallery is a part of my section called PEOPLE & FIESTAS. And of course there are other sections like BIRDS and TRIPS that pretty much document my 3 1/2 years in Costa Rica thus far and you can see them all at my SmugMug Gallery titled: Charlie Doggett’s COSTA RICA.