José María Zeledón Brenes and Manuel María Gutiérrez Flores, Illustrious Authors of the Costa Rican National Anthem

These illustrious characters are remembered over the years for marking the history of Costa Rica, bringing out all that sensitivity and love for our country with their lyrics and music, creating our National Anthem.

Author of the National Anthem Lyrics.

José María Zeledón Brenes.

He was declared Benemérito de la Patria (with great merit for the fatherland) in 1977.


He was born in San José on April 27, 1877. His parents were Hilario Zeledón and Concepción Brenes. Orphaned from an early age, he was raised by two aunts on his father’s side. During scarce economic resources, he was barely able to study the first year at the Liceo de Costa Rica. He then earned his livelihood and that of his family by working in accounting at various institutions and private companies.

Letter of the National Anthem.

The first lyrics of the National Anthem of Costa Rica were the work of the Colombian poet José Manuel Lleras and premiered in 1873. Later in 1879, the Hymn began to be sung with a much shorter version, the work of seminarian Juan Garita y Guillén.

These lyrics were never officially adopted, being 1888 the written composition of the Spanish pedagogue Juan Fernández Ferraz, was accepted, although it had great literary beauty, its language was somewhat not grass-root, in addition to not adapting well to the music of the Hymn. This made it necessary to make adjustments to the original version of the teacher Manuel María Gutiérrez Flores, composer of music.

All this led to the decision to replace it with a new lyric, for which a public contest was held in 1903. The contest was won by the composition of José María Zeledón Brenes, who presented it under the pseudonym Labrador, which with minor changes in the current letter of the National Anthem of Costa Rica, and declared official on June 10, 1949, by the governing board of José María Figueres Ferrer.


He died in Sparta on December 6, 1949, at the age of 72.

Author of the music of our National Anthem.

Manuel María Gutiérrez Flores.

He was a Costa Rican musician, composer, and military officer. Author of the music for the National Anthem, the first performance of which took place at noon on June 11, 1852, when President Juan Rafael Mora Porras received delegations from the United States and Great Britain.


He was born in the province of Heredia on September 3, 1829. He was a veteran of the National Campaign of 1856-1857, holding the rank of Captain of the Army of the Republic. Declared Benemérito de la Patria (with great merit for the fatherland),

National anthem.

On June 11, 1852, he composed the National Anthem, which has since been officially accepted for all the solemn acts of the Republic. In 1855, on the occasion of the opening of the National Palace, he composed a beautiful and applauded waltz entitled “The Palace”.

During the National Campaign, he wrote his famous march “Santa Rosa”, it can be said, during the battle, near the field where the military action took place.


He died in San José, on December 25, 1887, at the age of 58 years. Don Manuel María Gutiérrez Flores, the author of our National Anthem, represents the tradition of musical art in Costa Rica.

Resonance Costa Rica
VIAGuillermo Agudelo
SOURCEOsmary Torres.
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