A nice cultural experience in the heart of San José

enamorate-de-mi-ciudadOn Saturday November 2nd my girlfriend and I attended an event called “Enamórate de tu ciudad” (Fall in love with your city). This activity takes place in and around Parque Morazán, Parque España and el Jardín de la Paz which is just across the street from San José’s famous Escuela Matálica. The latter is a school house which is similar to the famous metallic church in the town of Grecia in that it is covered with metallic plates on the outside.

Parque Merced on the west end of town is also part of the program “Enamorate de tu Ciudad.” In case you don’t know, Parque Merced is located across the street from a building which at one time was country’s the main brewery. Merced Park is also the city’s main gathering spot for many of the city’s Nicaraguan residents.

Enamórate de la Ciudad is sponsored by the Ministry of Culture and Youth and for people of all ages. Its purpose is to promote love and appreciation for the parks in downtown San José by offering a variety of cultural activities held in the parks that are in the proximity of CENAC — a complex of buildings that make up the National Cultural Center. When I moved to Costa Rica in the early 1980s CENAC was the National Liquor Factory. How times have changed!

Some of the activities which took place on Saturday were: Face painting for children, live music under a beautiful domed structure in Morazán Park, known as Templo de Música, or the Temple of Music, yoga classes, circus arts, puppeteering, hula hoops, table games like chess, dominos and checkers, handicrafts, poetry readings, classes for children on how to make paper mache masks, mimes, unicycles, jugglers, clowns, an African dance workshop, Latin dance classes, skateboard exhibitions, face painting for children, learning to walk with stilts and a whole lot more.

For pictures of the activities above see this site: http://www.enamoratedetuciudad.com, and for information E-mail: info@enamoratedetuciudad.com

San José has received a lot of bad press in recent years because of its traffic, crime and other problem which almost every urban area in the world confronts on a daily basis. A lot of expats and retirees who live in other parts of the Central Valley are afraid to travel to the city because of these factors. Too bad! Because there are many cultural activities like the one above that are worthwhile. The National Theater and Melico Salazar Theater offer live performances; a variety of open-air cafés like La Terraza, el Patio and Grand Hotel Costa Rica are great for people watching; the Sabana Park and art museum are a must; Avenida Central with its shopping; the Central Market with its labyrinth-like interior; architectural gems like the old post office and Barrio Amón; a variety of restaurants, and parks should all be experienced while living in Costa Rica.

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