Million students will participate in independence events

Education officials expect students to receive the torch of independence Tuesday at the Peñas Blancas border crossing. The torch will be received from Nicaraguan students by Costa Rican youngsters in the presence of officials and others.

After an 8:30 a.m. ceremony, the torch itself is expected to cross the border at 11 a.m. And additional torches will be ignited to carry the flame to all parts of the country, said the education ministry.

The torch will make its way toward Cartago with stopovers at many locations along the way. These include the Parque Tumba Marcelino García Flamenco in La Cruz, Guanacaste, and in the central parks of Liberia, Bagaces, Cañas, Esparza, San Ramón, Palmares, Naranjo, Grecia, Alajuela and Heredia.

The torch is expected at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Parque Central in San José where another ceremony will be held. Then teams of students will carry it to Tres Ríos for another ceremony and then on to Cartago where the central government will be in session. The relay from the border involves thousands of students. Relay teams carry the torch short distances.
The events are great tourism and photography attractions.

In all, the education ministry said it expects more than a million students to be involved in Día de Independencia activities next week. Most schools will have a parade of faroles, the homemade street lanterns.

Also planned are bands, mascaradas, traditional foods and other civic activities, depending on the school.

Students all over will march Thursday at many parades around the country. That is why there has been drum practice throughout the country for the last month.

This is the 190th anniversary of independence. Today at school there are special ceremonies to mark the day. That goes along with other activities to mark El Día de la Ninez or children’s day, which also is today.

Cartago is the site of the governmental meeting that takes place about 8 p.m. Wednesday because that city was the country’s capital when citizens received word of independence. They did not actually hear about it for nearly a month after it was declared because of the distances involved. But Sept. 15 is the day independence from Spain was declared in the governmental seat of Guatemala City, which also is where the flame originates.

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