It is finally my Spring Break. Thank. Goodness.
Seriously I was starting to go a little crazy of having a 4 hour, 8 am class every day for 3 months straight, plus my electives in the afternoons. I thought it was a strange time to have a break (seems much later than back home), but it was planned out that my school would be closed this whole week for Semana Santa (Holy Week), since here in Costa Rica they celebrate the whole week leading up to Easter Sunday, not just Easter itself.
The weekend leading up to Semana Santa, I got to go to Manuel Antonio/Quepos and the Manuel Antonio National Park, where there are beautiful beaches and usually lots of animals such as sloths, bats, monkeys, etc. The public beach was packed full of local Costa Rican people (Tico’s) who had traveled to Manuel Antonio for vacation.
It was EXTREMELY hot the whole weekend, which was a bummer since our hostel didn’t have AC, but that meant lots of swimming in the ocean! :) The second day, my friends and I went in to the National Park and hung out at the beach there. It was lovely and there were very few people there!
On Monday we came back to the city, and relaxed for a couple days. Thursday and Friday are the two days that the Tico’s all get off of work for Semana Santa, so on Thursday lots more people cleared out and the city was a lot quieter.
Today (Friday) started the processions in the city center for Good Friday. I walked around the streets watching for about an hour or so as people of the Catholic church dressed up and acted out (spoke of) parts of the crusifiction story of Jesus as they walked down the streets (sort of like a parade). It was very interesting, even though today they were just focusing on the death of Jesus, rather than the death and resurrection. Tons of people came to watch and go to Mass after the processions ended.
Lots of people out in the streets watching the processions.
Carrying Jesus with the cross, followed by a band playing appropriate music.
I am very glad I went and was able to see how the locals celebrate Holy Week! On Sunday there will be more processions, focusing more on the resurrection of Christ, which will be interesting to see as well!
For now, I am trying to plan out my last 2 weeks here in Costa Rica. Hopefully I can get the most out of my last little bit of time here in this beautiful country!