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Drought fears overshadow Anexión celebration
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Just a few days before the annual celebration, Guanacaste is facing a crisis.

Friday the president and other members of the central government will travel to Nicoya for a cabinet meeting. This is a tradition to thank the region for deciding to join Costa Rica in 1824.

Despite all the celebration, dances and music, Guanacaste, a prime agricultural area faces the certainty of a drought.

The Instituto Meteorológico Nacional says that due to El Niño in the Pacific there will be about 50 percent less rain. That means big trouble for cattle ranchers and farmers of all stripes.

Monday, Marta Arauz, a lawmaker, urged the central government to issue a decree of emergency for the province.

She noted to the assembled lawmakers that what was then called the Partido de Nicoya joined Costa Rica of its free will, the only region in Latin
America that had the opportunity to determine is sovereignty.

President Luis Guillermo Solís will have a chance to see for himself. He plans to visit Nosara on the far Pacific coast Wednesday. He is expected to see the roadways for which residents of Nosara are seeking repairs. From the morning visit in Nosara, the president is headed to Liberia to speak with cattle ranchers and representatives of area businesses at the Universidad EARTH.

Casa Presidencial said he would continue his visit in Liberia Thursday and then move on to Bagaces, Cañas and later Tilarán. Water will be the topic when Solís meets with representatives of the Universidad Nacional in Liberia about a new university major involving hydraulics.

All this comes before the visit Friday to Nicoya for the celebration of the Anexión de Partido de Nicoya. Partido was a Spanish Colonial word for geographical region. After the 11 a.m. cabinet meeting in the central park of Nicoya, the president will be stopping at Guaitil, the center for thousands of years of Chorotega pottery.

Instituto Costarricense de Turismo photo
This is a scene from a previous tortilla contest in Nicoya. Cooks use open fires.
Six-day fiesta begins tonight in Nicoya
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The party starts in Nicoya tonight at 5:30 p.m. with street bands, folk dancers and fireworks. There even will be a special illumination of the streets. And over at the Colegio Técnico de Corralillo de Nicoya there is the start of the tortilla contest along with marimbas and a dance.

The municipality is planning a solid six days of events to celebrate the Anexión de Partido de Nicoya.

At 6 p.m. Wednesday there is an official inauguration with speeches by politicians, more fireworks, folklore presentations and the Regional Banda Municipal de Nicoya.

There are more marimbas at noon Thursday followed by demonstrations of preparing typical foods at 2 p.m. At 6 p.m. there is more traditional folk dancing and even recitations of regional poetry. The climax is a public dance later in the evening.

Friday is a big day.  There is a bike race at 10 a.m. and a presidential cabinet meeting in the Parque Recaredo Briceño.  At 3 p.m. there is a tope or horse parade with an expected 1,200 riders, according to the organizer, the Asociación de Caballistas de Nicoya. There is more folk dancing and traditional music until the fireworks in the late evening.

Saturday there is more marimba music in the park at noon followed by a marimba concert and a 5 p.m. presentation by local and international folkloric groups, including the Grupo Folclórico de México and the Grupo Folclórico de
Servicios Periodisticos photo
Street lighting in Nicoya proclaims that residents chose Costa Rica by their own will.

Nicaragua. The evening ends with another dance.

Sunday features a gathering at 2 p.m. of the traditional street bands, the cimarronas. The festivities end with another concert featuring the  Grupo Percance.

This is the 190th anniversary of the region's decision to join with Costa Rica instead of Nicaragua. The  Festival Cultural de la Anexión 2014 is featuring the  Danza de la Yegüita each day in recognition of the native roots of the region.

The Festival de la Tortilla, runs through Thursday with two preliminary competitions followed by the final. The program at the technical school will be accompanied by music and, of course, marimbas, each day.

Guanacaste has its own unique culture including food, the marimbas, the traditional clothing of the folk dancers and even the bombas, those four-line poems that begin with the announcement Bomba! and end with a humorous twist. They are the Costa Rican version of epigrams.

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