Costa Rica – Day 12


San Jose Airport:

I am sitting across from a couple from Holland who, like ourselves, just finished a tour of Costa Rica. I inquired why they chose to come such a distance. They said that it was the natural wonders of Costa Rica. “We could go to Africa, but we feel it is safer here.”

Enroute to Minneapolis

I did not have the opportunity until now to reflect on the special monument at UPEACE, located in their special Peace Park: “The Monument is a completed sculpture with great historic and social character. It is the largest sculpture that has been erected in Central America, and pays homage to the Costa Ricans who have made outstanding efforts in establishing peace. It was constructed in 1987 by the Cuban sculptress, Thelvia Marin.

“The spiral form, in its ascent and its continuity, symbolizes the infinite quest for peace. Nine modular columns were built, forming a spiral. On top of the middle column stands a dove ready to take flight supported by two hands, as if to send a message of peace to the world. On both faces of each one of the columns, there are embossed sculptures that represent historic moments that shaped Costa Rica into a country that loves peace and respects the rights and aspirations of all people, regardless of race or creed.”

Following are the Costa Rican leaders honored on the columns. I won’t write out the quotes on the columns, here at least. I am learning that it is best to keep blogs as short as possible. I hope to honor that in future blogs. Please bear with me as I bring closure to this wonderful journey of peace.

Rodrigo Carazo Odio initiated the idea of creating the University for Peace before the UN. He served as first rector.

Juan Mora Fernandez fought for liberty of the press.

Jose Maria Castro Madris worked to expand education beyond the priveliged few.

Jesus Jimenez Zamora successfully included the right to a free education in the Costa Rican constitution.

Rafael Angel Calderon Guardia successfully included the rights of individuals in the constitution, created the social security system, protected the rights of mothers, children, the elderly and the handicapped. He promulgated the Labor Code in 1943.

Jose Figueres Ferrer nationalized banking, established the Costa Rican Institute of Electricity Foundation, and established the Aqueducts and Sewers Foundation. He abolished the Costa Rican army in 1949.

Oscar Arias Sanchez in 1987 organized the Summit of Central American Presidents where pacification of the region was discussed. He won the Nobel Peace Prize that same year for his efforts for peace in Central America and created the Arias Foundation for Peace.

I am impressed. I am beginning to get what it means to have a “national will”. For those interesed, there is a move here the US to promote the establishment of a department of peace as well as the creation of a national university of peace. I will check out the links later.

Enroute to Minnesota

We made this flight by the skin of our teeth…that is tomorrow’s story.

Have a good one!