By: Jerad Maplethorpe
If you’re a mother living in Costa Rica, this is your kind of day.
August 15 is Mother’s Day in Costa Rica. I’ve heard quite a bit about Mother’s Day over the last few weeks, but, until today, I wasn’t aware of just how important this holiday really is. However, it isn’t only Mother’s Day, it’s also The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven, an event celebrated in Catholicism, Costa Rica’s official state religion.
I’ve heard it rumored that today is Costa Rica’s “most important holiday.” That may be an opinion, but, within the confines of the Potrero community, it certainly seems factual.
Despite it being the middle of the week, many of the restaurants and shops are either closed or have irregular hours. A couple of the volunteers and I learned this the hard way this morning: Having walked to a distant restaurant in anticipation of breakfast, we found out that the cooks–mothers–had the morning off. This particular restaurant was scheduled to reopen at 4 p.m., but many of the area’s restaurants were to remain closed for the entire day.
Upon reentering Potrero, we noticed a lively fútbol game taking place in the plaza. However, this wasn’t a scrimmage game, it was one of Potrero’s official teams. These sorts of games are typically reserved for Sundays. But, in honor of Mother’s Day, and to the delight of the community, a game was scheduled for today.
The Kids Club was alive with activity too, not from children, but chickens! Well, the [cooked] chickens themselves weren’t doing much, but there was a group of women selling them to passersby, along with two potatoes and a hardboiled egg. All of the proceeds will go to benefit the Kids Club.
It has been a lively, festive day, and, even though today has been dedicated to Costa Rica’s mothers, it certainly feels like everyone is enjoying it all the same.