~ by Jeane Brennan
Those who live in or near Sierpe work hard.
Whether it’s fishing to supply the restaurants or for sport; farming various crops or raising and nurturing farm animals, or retail businesses; daily life is challenging. When it’s time for the citizens of Sierpe to celebrate their land, their country, and each other, the whole town comes joyfully together.
The mangrove forests throughout the Osa Peninsula are tremendously important for the eco system and economy. In August, the “Festival of the Manglares” (mangroves) lasts for four days, which are complete with educational and historical information, typical food, traditional music and dancing, mangrove and river tours, soccer games, and more. The town is abuzz with excitement.
“Día de la Independencia”, on September 15, was celebrated in every Costa Rican pueblo, hamlet, village, and city; and the town of Sierpe was not going to be left out. The day began at 5 a.m. with a pick-up truck full of students riding throughout the town playing the drums and horns loudly. The purpose is to, at first light, wake the townspeople so they remember history, and what independence and to live in a country of peace means for Costa Ricans.
Fun rides for kids, arts and crafts booths, delicious food, and of course, soccer, are a small part of the festivities. Other events need much planning and organization.
Hundreds of cyclists travel across the river via the Sierpe launch (ferry), and they negotiate the hills and dirt roads afar. The Independence Parade is applauded and honored on the sidelines by families and friends of all ages. Teachers and parents play a huge part in the costumes, practice, and general preparation. Finally, the third event this day is the “tope”, a magnificent parade of horses and their riders who proudly traverse throughout the town.
May we all appreciate living in this beautiful land and honor its people and its freedom.
INFO: Jeane Brennan [email protected]