An estimated 20,000 schoolkids will carry independence torch

The education ministry said Wednesday that about 20,000 students will participate in carrying the Antorcha de la Independencia from Peñas Blancas to Cartago over two days, starting Friday.

That is a distance of 386 kilometers, some 240 miles.

The youngsters in groups will carry the torch an average of about 200 meters, said the Ministerio de Educación Pública. This is an annual event.

The torch ends up in Cartago Saturday at an 8 p.m. session of the president’s cabinet. There are stops along the way.

The torch signifies the route that the news of independence took in 1821.

Abril Morales Ceciliano, 14, of the Liceo Experimental Bilingüe de La Cruz has been named to be the first Costa Rican student to carry the torch as it arrives at the border about 9 a.m. Friday.

One of the first stops will be in La Cruz at the tomb of  Marcelino García Flamenco. He is not well known to expats, but he was the man whose death triggered an uprising in 1919 that eliminated the Tinoco family from power. Federico Alberto Tinoco Granados, a general, became president in a coup.

García, who was a school teacher in Osa, ended up becoming involved in a firefight with Tinoco supporters.

He was gravely wounded with machetes and than taken nearly the entire length of the country to La Cruz where he was doused with fuel and set afire.

The torch will be there about 12:30 p.m.

Here are the other stops:


Parque Central de Liberia,, 5:30 p.m.

Parque Central de Bagaces, 8:15 p.m.

Parque Central de Cañas, 10:55 p.m.


Parque Central de Esparza, 4:50 a.m.

Escuela Carlos María Jiménez, 6:30 a.m.

Parque Central de San Ramón, 8:10 a.m.

Parque Central de Palmares, 9:20 a.m.

Parque Central de Naranjo, 10:45 a.m.

Plaza de Deportes, Sarchí, 11:35 a.m.

Parque Central de Grecia, 12:55 p.m.

Parque Central de Alajuela, 2:45 p.m.

Parque Central de Heredia, 4:15 p.m.

Parque Central de San José, 5:59 p.m.

Parque Central de Tres Ríos, 7:10 p.m.

The reception in San José coincides with the 6 p.m. singing of the national anthem. Officials will ignite a caldron from the torch.

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