Oxcarts celebrated this week in San Antonio de Escazú

San Antonio de Escazú, the cultural home of the boyeros, is celebrating the Costa Rican tradition this week.

The celebration climaxes Sunday with the parade of the boyeros and oxcarts from Escazú Centro uphill to San Antonio.

The main location for most of the week is the central plaza of San Antonio where there are exhibitions and cultural activities through Friday.

Saturday will see a parade through the streets withcimarronas, the brass band, and mascarada, those towering papier-mâché figures. That is at 2 p.m. During the afternoon boyeros and their families from all over the country will be gathering. At 6 p.m. there is a Mass for boyeros who have died in the past year. Then there is music and dancing culminating with fireworks at 10:30 p.m.

Sunday begins with a 5 a.m. march of bands through the streets of San Antonio followed by a 10 a.m. Mass. The parade of the oxen and the carts begins at 10:30 a.m. There will be festivities all day in San Antonio and another Mass at 6 p.m.

The boyero and his oxcart are an intangible World Heritage endeavor. Oxen still are used as draught animals on many Costa Rican farms and ranches. The boyero or oxcart driver may be a farmer, but this also is a hobby for some, so the man directing the giant beasts may be a lawyer or the local school teacher.

A full schedule is available on the Municipalidad de EscazúWeb site.

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