A symbol of hope illuminates dazzling hospital extravaganza

A.M. Costa Rica/Kayla Pearson
A clown from Hospisonrisas, a special troupe that works with hospital patients, does his magic act.

Christmas came early to the Hospital de Niños as children and families flooded the courtyard and streets to partake in the 49th annual tree illumination.

This event, which always happens in early December, is only the beginning, said Rodolfo Hernández Gómez, hospital director.

A.M. Costa Rica/Kayla Pearson
Child has encounter with Puss in Boots of fairy tale fame.

“We will have Christmas at the hospital every day of the month,” he said.

Children, many with various illnesses, were given special seating in front of a stage that housed live performances. Disabilities, visible scars and oxygen tanks did not stop the young from smiling, waving hands in the air and singing along to popular songs.

Those who could join the crowd participated from balconies alongside doctors and nurses.

The youth were called champions by the various musical performers who also thanked them for continuing to fight and also thanked the hospital for improving the quality of each child’s life.

Professional hospital payasos or clowns from Hospisonrisas kept the crowd of young people engaged with tricks and theater. They are also trained in medicine, psychology, social work and art.

A.M. Costa Rica/Kayla Pearson
Hospital Director Hernández at left is joined by Santa, Mrs. Claus, a chipmunk and others.

When the sky was dark, the crowd counted down to 10 and was dazzled by the hospital tree, which was decorated with 25,000 lights.

“The tree is a symbol of hope,” said Hernández.

The celebration is important because of the happiness it brings to the patients and the value it has in the Christmas season, he continued.

After the tree ceremony, the party continued with a Christmas tale musical acted out by various children’s book characters such as “Alice in Wonderland’s” The Hatter, Belle and Beast from “Beauty and the Beast,” Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer and Aladdin.

Santa and Mrs. Claus also made guest appearance, taking pictures with guests, waving from the balcony and doing a Santa Claus is coming to Town musical dance.

Costa Rican and tourist guests who could not fit into the hospital property, watched the show from the streets via projection screens, while vendors sold light toys and other trinkets. This turned the spectacle into a show for all.

A.M. Costa Rica/Kayla Pearson
The stage was set up in front of the hospital and the live tree with 25,000 lights.

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