Saint Joseph, Costa Rica History

Saint Joseph, Costa Rica History and Society

The Republic of Costa Rica is a country in Central America. It limits to the north with Nicaragua and to the southeast with Panama. Its territory is bathed to the east by the Caribbean Sea, in which it has maritime limits with Nicaragua, Colombiaand Panama and to the west by the Pacific Ocean. Its capital, political and economic center is San José. The official language is Spanish. Saint Joseph is the capital city of Costa Rica according to simplyyellowpages.

Among Latin American countries, Costa Rica occupies the first place in the classification of the tourism competitiveness index, and the 42nd place worldwide. [1] Its human development index is the sixth best in Latin America. [2]

Saint Joseph. Capital of Costa Rica, founded in 1737, its main attraction lies in its Spanish heritage and the mark that the occupation left on its architecture and customs. With an area of 170 km², this city is the most populated, it has about a million residents, it is also the industrial, commercial and financial center of the country, and the point through which all Costa Rican communications pass, so it is inevitable to visit it when traveling through the Republic.


Business center of the country, capital of the country and of the province itself. City with the highest concentration of population.

Intermediate Area

Before the arrival of the Spaniards to Costa Rica in the 16th century, the region was inhabited by Huetar Indians from Señorío de Garabito. Its culture belonged to the Intermediate Area and its main peculiarity was in stone sculpture and the elaboration of jade pieces. In the surroundings of the city of San José there were several chiefdoms, with the Virilla River as the boundary between the kingdom of Garabito and the Señorío del Guarco, the other important Huetar kingdom in the region.

Spanish conquest

After the Spanish conquest, the first population emerged in the current district of Mata Redonda, by Pedro de las Alas, on land granted by Governor Diego de Artieda Chirino y Uclés (1574-1590), who formed a herd there of cattle that later he inherited to his children in two farms: Mata Redonda and Las Pavas. In 1640, a Spanish woman named María de Aguilar owned land that adjoined the Los Alas herd.


It was founded in 1737 at the request of the Barva parish, in a place called “La Boca del Monte in the Abra valley”, around the hermitage of San José. In 1751 it was already mentioned by the name of “La Villita”, and very soon it became an important tobacco marketing center.

When independence was achieved in 1821, it became the center of the liberal elements of the country, and had certain rivalries with the city ​​of Cartago regarding the options that were posed for integration into the Mexican empire from Iturbideto Gran Colombia.

With the independence of Costa Rica in 1821, a first provisional constitution was drafted, known as the “Pact of Concord”, which stipulated, among other determinations, the rotation of the headquarters of the supreme authorities of Costa Rica among the towns of Cartago, San José, Heredia and Alajuela. For this reason, San José was the capital for the first time from May to August 1822.

In 1835, the head of State Braulio Carrillo Colina repealed the Ambulance Law, establishing the residence of the Executive and Judicial powers in San José and the Legislative in Heredia. This caused the so-called War of the League, in which the cities of Alajuela, Heredia and Cartago rose up against the government in San José, which was victorious in October 1835.

In 1838, the then Head of State Manuel Aguilar Chacón repealed the decree of Braulio Carrillo that made San José the capital of the country, reopening the debate on the nation’s capital. In May of that year, a military coup brought Braulio Carrillo Colina to power as dictator, who had already been constitutional Head of State from 1835 to 1837.

After his rise to power, Carrillo ordered the transfer to San José of the authorities established in Cartago, and later issued a law confirming San José “forever” as the capital of Costa Rica, ordering the transfer of public powers., who resided in Heredia, back to San José. This law was repealed in 1842 by the de facto government of Francisco Morazán Quesada, but San José continued to be in fact the seat of the supreme authorities of the State.

Social development


City where visitors from all over the world gather; It is a capital full of places of interest that reflect the history of a people, its art, its culture and its development. It has sites of interest to tourists. Among the most representative sites of the city, stands out the National Theater inaugurated in 1897, a pride of Costa Ricans and the historic center of the best national and foreign artists.

Most of the popular festivals are of religious origin, that is why they celebrate patron saint festivals in all the towns, but there are others that are born from a historical or popular event that has become a legend, such as La Llorona, El Cadejos, La Segua. The Cart without Oxen.

The most popular activities are racing horses, bull riding, bull bulls, food sales, carnivals, masquerades and the choice of “Tica Linda” (Party Queen).


Traditions characterize a country and are unique to each people that make it up. material or spiritual. As an example of material features we have: buildings, streets, parks, churches, monuments, libraries, schools, etc. As for the spirituals, the following are listed: beliefs, language, history, traditions, folklore, etc. Traditions have been formed in both family and community and were obtained from Aboriginal and Spanish ancestors.


The customs have been formed in both the family and the community and were obtained from Aboriginal and Spanish ancestors.

These customs are found at parties, at meals, in the way of expressing oneself and in the way of dealing with joys and sorrows. They are their own style of saying what the world around them looks like. These traditional festivals are based on shifts or small town fairs where they are sold: tamales, picadillos, corn, rice with various meats, chorreadas, natural soft drinks such as chan, mozote, pinolillo, fruits; meat roosters, salami, rice pudding, desserts, homemade bread and other foods.


The woman wore a ruffled skirt and a ruffled blouse. The blouse had a black ribbon. Around the neck they wore a black velvet ribbon hanging a golden medallion, their hair was adorned with natural flowers.

The man keeps suits of many colors as well as the women. They wear a simple outfit. The colors most used by men are blue and yellow. They put a scarf around their necks and also put on a red sash, which they take off when the time for the dance comes.

Places of interest

Among the most interesting places it offers are:

  • The National Museum.

Pre-Columbian Gold Museum

  • The Pre-Columbian Gold Museum: Contains a collection of 1600 pre-Hispanic gold pieces dating from 500 to 1500 BC In addition to the pieces, dioramas are exhibited that reconstruct the daily life of the Costa Rican indigenous people prior to European contact, as well as the reconstruction of a royal tomb in the Díquis area, exhibits that explain the use and function of the pieces, the metallurgical technology used to make them and their social, religious and cultural function for aboriginal peoples.
  • The Jade Museum.
  • The National Theater from the late nineteenth century (undoubtedly the main building in the city).
  • The national palace.
  • The Cathedral of San José.
  • Central Park.
  • The National Park.
  • The Bolivar Park.
  • The Morazán Park.


From the capital you can make excursions to the surroundings, such as visiting the Central Plateau, visiting the city ​​of Cartago, founded in the 16th century and later destroyed by the earthquakes of 1841 and 1910, reaching the impressive crater of Irazú, and walking through the valley of Orosí.

Personalities of San José

  • Manuel Aguilar Bonilla. An eminent physician and surgeon, and a person of great professional and personal prestige, Dr. Aguilar Bonilla was elected in 1970 as First Vice President of the Republic, a position he held until 1974 ad honorem. On several occasions, he held the presidency temporarily due to the absence of President José Figueres Ferrer.
  • Franklin Chang-Diaz. Astronaut (retired in July 2005) and Costa Rican physicist, born on April 5, 1950 in San José, Costa Rica, a US citizen since 1977.
  • Aquileo Echeverría. Costa Rican writer, journalist and politician who was born in San José, Costa Rica on March 22, 1866. He was baptized with the name of Adolfo Dolores Aquileo de la Trinidad Echeverría Zeledón. In 1889 he collaborated with Rubén Darío in the newspaper “La Unión” in El Salvador, later he collaborated with the newspaper Guatemala Ilustrada.
  • Neighel Drummond. Costa Rican soccer player who currently plays as a goalkeeper with the Universidad de Costa Rica of the Liga de Ascenso de Costa Rica.
  • Carlos Francisco Monge. Costa Rican poet and essayist. In addition to his literary activity, he is a philologist and literary critic, and he teaches Hispanic literature at major university centers in his country.
  • Carlos Gagini. Costa Rican writer of Swiss descent, born in San José, Costa Rica, in 1865, and died in that city in 1925. He distinguished himself as an educator and directed several educational establishments, including the most prominent, the Liceo de Costa Rica. Notable philologist, he wrote a celebrated Dictionary of Costa Ricanisms on the localisms of Costa Rica and other works on grammar and vocabulary; He also studied the indigenous languages ​​of Costa Rica.

Saint Joseph, Costa Rica History