Saturday, September 15, 2007

Independence Day

I am back in San Jose for a VAC dinner. We are all getting together tonight for general mayhem and shenanigans. Today is also Costa Rica's Independence Day celebrated with parades and "typical" dances. Lots of little girls in long skirts and little boys with coffee-ground beards. There is also a lot of political activity. Although now it is old news in the US, if it were ever news at all, Costa Rica has not signed the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA). There will be an election at the beginning of next month to decide if Costa Rica will sign or not. So, there is a lot of talk and debate flying around. The Sí camp, or those in favor, have blanketed the country and airwaves with flashy banners and television commercials. The opposition, lacking the funds privy to those in favor, has still managed a very impressive grassroots resistance. Mainly consisting of squads of volunteers passing out flyers and educating people about what the agreement says and then what will most likely result from it. As a Peace Corps volunteer I am prohibited from expressing a political opinion so I am not officially allowed to tell people that "les va a joder."

Most likely it will pass. Most likely the people with the money and the power will do what they want and what they generally want is to protect their own interests. But maybe, just maybe, this year the people of Costa Rica will stand up and celebrate their independence by maintaining it.

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