This Sunday, Día del Niño, is for the country’s children

Sunday very conveniently is Día del Niño. Expats with kids anywhere in the extended family should be forewarned that the youngsters are expecting presents and some kind of outing.

However, the day is more than just a Christmas markdown every 9th of September. The purpose of the day is to honor those who are the future of the country.

Just as in the United States it is the young and unborn who are going to have to pay off the national debt. Costa Rica is about to borrow $4 billion more.

The United Nations suggested the day in 1954. Costa Rica set the commemoration for Sept. 9 eight years earlier. Other nations chose other dates.

Many private organizations such as the Costa Rican Tennis Club, will be hosting activities for the children of members. In poor neighborhoods, the Fuerza Pública and other agencies will be bringing treats and entertainment to kids.

Because most Costa Ricans have Sunday off, this year the day
is a bigger deal than most years when the day falls on a weekday.

Certainly the Parque de Diversiones in La Uruca will be a prime destination. The Parque Zoológico y Jardín Botánico Nacional Simón Bolívar in north San José has special events for children starting at 9 a.m. Sunday.

Many restaurants will take advantage of the day, too, by offering special meals and events.

Each year there usually are competing newspaper columns for or against corporal punishment for children or various ways of responding to juvenile crime.

There is no secret that those under 18 commit many crimes, including street robberies and murders in Costa Rica and that the criminal justice system has not yet caught up to that fact.
Others will be critical of underage employees, either in family enterprises or outside the home.

But for the kids, the smallest members of the family, they simply are likely to just bask in the glory of having a day just for them.

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