Anniversary of the Annexation of Guanacaste

An Important Event in the History of Costa Rica

It has been 194 years since the historical annexation of the Partido de Nicoya to Costa Rica that happened on July 25th, 1824. Guanacaste was the Province where these historical events took place.

This process had its votes in favor and against, due to the open Town Hall in which the inhabitants of Nicoya and Santa Cruz wanted to annex to Costa Rica, but the Guanacaste Villa was not all that sure. For many, the Annexation was an ardent point of debate because back then in Central America the loyalty to a National entity had not yet been solidified by the recently created nation-states. After many failed attempts a general consensus was created among the various populations integrating the Partido de Nicoya over the convenience of being a part of Costa Rica. It was not until 1838 that the Municipalities of the three main communities ratified their annexation to the country, and only in 1858 did Costa Rica obtain the judicial guarantees over Guanacaste with the signing of the Cañas-Jerez treaty.

The Cañas-Jerez treaty between the countries of Costa Rica and Nicaragua was signed on April 15th, 1858, and its purpose was to solve the increased border tensions that were being generated between the two countries. It should be stated that over the years Nicaragua has reclaimed its rights over this territory.

Some History: Nicaragua and its repeated demands

On August 15th, 1826, the inhabitants of Villa de Guanacaste assembled in the parroquial Church decided to not take the oath of alliance that Costa Rica was demanding from them since they considered that the annexation would not be a permanent but rather a temporary condition.

Nicaragua took its reclamation over that territory to the Federal Congress to take into consideration a note of protest sent to the assigned legislative commission which in turn ruled in favor of its sovereign rights. In that respect, Costa Rica put on the bench documents that showed the colonial demarcation lines that were included in its first constitution of January 21st, 1825, not included the annexation of Nicoya, annexed by the events that happened on July 24th, 1824, supposedly “while the order was being reestablish in Nicaragua”. Against this documents put up front by Costa Rica, Nicaragua counter-demanded by presenting the documents signed by the people from Nicoya and Guanacaste directed to the same Federal Congress during the very same time period.

According to the Costa Rican Historian Vladimir de la Cruz for the Central American Independence process, the commercial trade between Nicoya and Costa Rica was a lot more intense then between Nicoya and Nicaragua. “Costa Rica was a country with a lot more political stability then Nicaragua that was a country with many internal social-political conflicts especially with the disputes between Leon and Granada”.

Beyond the celebrations every July 25th, when folklore and music are highlighted, it is also remembered all the political and social strife that occurred and are still intensely felt on both sides of the border.


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