Just about everyone not dealing with tourists. This means MOST governmental agencies and though hospitals will be open, when it comes to medical care - remember that MOST places/departments will be operating on a skeleton crew - NOT HAVE MUCH STAFF!!!! (so hopefully nothing will happen to you during that time!!)
If you're coming for Dental or Medical Tourism - come at LEAST 2 weeks before things close down as I can't say I know of many dentists/doctors working during that week (or longer).
WHAT IS A SURE BET TO BE OPEN?
American FAST FOOD restaurants or regular sit-down restaurants (like TGIF's)
(the big ones - though they often shorter hours on Thursday and Fridays)
(they're usually a sure bet on holidays!!)
MANY BIG TOURIST ATTRACTIONS
(like La Paz Waterfalls, the National Parks - hence it's a GOOD TIME to hit those!!)
HOW IT IS??
Sunday - March 5, 2015
(meaning the West-bound lane from Escazu to Orotina/the Pacific - will be CLOSED from 1-8pm!!!
ALL lanes will go East-bound
FROM the Pacific [Orotina] towards Escazu/San Jose
Police say HOME BREAK-INS INCREASE about 40% during this week as they know MANY people go away!!
WHAT CAN I DO TO PROTECT MY HOME FROM A BREAK-IN?
#1 - Bring someone in to House or Pet Sit for you!!!
(WHO??? I'm already booked but in the future I do Pet & House Sitting:
ME/Vicki!! Inquire at LovingYourPetHouseSitting.com
Also, get a timer to put on a couple lights or have a friend come in and turn lights on/off and take your newspaper in - bottom line is make the house look like someone's there. You can hire a Security Company (note that during heavy vacation time, they're busiest so they may not respond as fast. You can purchase a Security Camera. But if you don't have the money for either of those, you can buy a "Simulated" Security Camera to put outside in an obvious place. I had one at my place on Calle Vieja where I lived - NO gate, NO guard, NO alarm - just my sensor lights and the fake camera (you can find them around Costa Rica at Radio Shack - http://RadioShack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2049770 - [they're more expensive in Costa Rica]). You can use a Guard Dog, but I've KNOWN people that were Home Invasioned and the banditos just fed or poisoned the dog(s) and many didn't even bark. To say nothing of what these barking dogs do to your neighbors life/sanity.
MANY things are closed ESPECIALLY ON Good Friday - April 6.
Anything with Fish, Ceviche, canned Tuna and Sardines,
(eaten especially ON that Thursday and Friday),
(onion, carrot, cauliflower, cucumber and vinegar)
Candy made from Chiverre and Encurtido, Bread•Pan (many traditional families make their own bread so they can eat “Pan Casero" with Sweet and Condensed Milk or homemade bread).
The beverages are all supposed to be natural juices, no sodas.
The consumption of alcohol is NOT frowned upon. After all Jesus "turned water into wine." Traditional Catholics have fasting and abstinence obligations during the 40 days of Lent preceding Easter. That is why fish is favored over meats.
Costa Rican's seem to take these 2 holy days - Maundy Jueves • Holy Thursday and Good Friday - quite seriously (well - at least in MOST businesses) - practically shutting down towns not relying on the tourist $$!!! FEW Tico's I know do anything special on Easter Sunday (the Resurrection) other than go to church. Go figure!!!
EXITING NICARAGUA • ENTERING COSTA RICA
Saturday and Sunday
MOST buses book up with reservations WEEKS in advance but they add on more buses (usually for a higher price for those). MANY people (especially government workers) get the WHOLE week off so it will start to get busy Friday - March 27 and Saturday - March 28. PLUS the roads will be busier so the ride will be longer (if you're taking the budget bus - Deldu - which has NO Air-conditioning and this is some of the HOTTEST TIMES of the YEAR - well - keep that in mind!!!).
Don't have Residency in Costa Rica and plan on going to Nicaragua around Samana Santa???
When you're ENTERING Costa Rica - MAKE SURE YOU HAVE PROOF THAT YOU ARE LEAVING COSTA RICA WITHIN 90 DAYS!!!
Proof is a bus or airline ticket WITH A DATE ON IT!!!!!!!!!
An open-ended ticket is proof you are leaving Costa Rica within 365 days which is NOT proof you're leaving within 90 days is it???
(think about that peeps!!! Use that LOGIC you were born with [I slam on this because MANY people still do this and then go bitch when they have a problem!!])
Otherwise you run the RISK of getting a Tourist Visa Stamp for less than 90 days or even refused you re-entry!!!!!!!
that MUST WORK THURSDAY and FRIDAY?
VEHICLE restrictions will be
Monday - March 30 till Friday - April 3, 2015
GETTING TO THE CENTRAL PACIFIC BEACHES
VIA PEOPLE•CAR FERRY IN PUNTARENAS
The pier in Puntarenas suffered some damage a few weeks ago and has been under repair. They resume on Sunday, March 29 - plus they will be adding additional trips throughout Semana Santa.
Leaving Puntarenas dock at:
6:30am, 10am, 2:30pm and 7:30pm
8am, 12:30pm, 5:30pm and 9pm
A booklet with the schedule for Semana Santa en San José is available at the cathedral for free. Inside are the dates and times for each procession along with their proper name and a description of the event.
According to the Bible, Judas was the apostle who sold out Christ for silver coins. Others have said the burning of Judas is a way for Christians to let all their sins wild and in symbol burn with Judas, and then confess for Easter. This cleanses and allows them to be reborn just like Jesus.
“Almost everybody confesses before Easter,” said Arauz. The Catedral Metropolitana will have 100 priests working toward the end of the week to handle the crowd.
WARNINGS - SATURDAY NIGHT is when hellions come up to do the Burning of Judas which can get nasty/out of hand sometimes
(like a protest gone wrong if alcohol is involved)
There is a new Semana Santa tradition in Costa Rica in which vendors of food products donate a symbolic amount to the Roman Catholic Church. Then the produce is distributed to homes for children.
Many of the public markets in the Central Valley have religious paintings of statues, and there are frequent services among those who rent stalls there. The Mercado Central, the Mercado Borbón and the Mercado Coca Cola were all represented at Parque Central Wednesday. The park is just west of the Catedral Metropolitana.
Archbishop Hugo Barrantes was there to bestow his blessings on the vendors and the products they brought.
This was just one of the activities for Semana Santa. This is a big week for the faithful and priests.
There are three Masses at the cathedral today, at 8:15 a.m., at 9 a.m. and at 6 p.m. Then at 7:30 p.m. begins the first of several processions commemorating the suffering and death of Jesus Christ.
The procession tonight is called Jesús atado a la columna or “Jesus Tied to the Column.” This is based on the biblical account of Christ being whipped by soldiers before his trial the following day. The procession is through the downtown area from the cathedral to the Iglesia El Carmen.
Friday the first procession begins at 10 a.m. marking the story of Christ being forced to carry his cross to the hill where he was executed. It is called
A.M. Costa Rica/Shahrazad Encinias Vela
There'll be no reprieve for this rooster.
in Spanish Jesús Nazareno cargando la cruz camino al Calvario.Then at 5 p.m. the procession representing the funeral of Christ begins at the cathedral at 5:30 p.m. where marchers are joined by a column from the Iglesia La Soledad. There are hundreds of persons involved.
There is another procession Saturday at 4 p.m. from La Soledad on Calle 9 to the cathedral with Mass at 7 p.m.
The Easter procession is at 10 a.m. Sunday from the Iglesia La Merced at the west end of Avenida 2 to the cathedral for a Mass of Resurrection at 10:30 a.m.
Each of these processions are highly photogenic, and well attended by not only the faithful but tourists. Similar events will take place all over the country.
Know of any NON-beach area restaurant or business open that Thursday and Friday??