Country prepares to receive torch Friday morning

The Antorcha de la Independencia is supposed to arrive in the country at the Peñas Blancas border crossing at 11 a.m. Friday.

From there, teams of school children and volunteers have 350 kilometers (about 217 miles) to cover to insure that the torch arrives in Cartago Sunday night.

For most of the trip, the torch will travel the Interamericana until it reaches Alajuela. From there the runners will take the old road through Heredia.

The Policía de Tránsito said because the days are the weekend, there should be less traffic. There is an elaborate system of traffic control, including blocking off Avenida 2 in downtown San José for the 6 p.m. Sunday arrival of the torch and the subsequent closure of the traffic circle around the Fuente de Hispanidad in San Pedro until the torch bearers pass en route to Cartago, where there is another ceremony. The torch spawns other torches that spread to much of the country.

Police also will be blocking off streets around Parque Nacional starting at 7 a.m. Monday in anticipation of the 9 a.m. independence day speech by President Luis Guillermo Solís. Monday is a legal holiday.

Youngsters and adult volunteers from the Fuerza Pública, fire fighters and the Cruz Roja will be escorted the entire way by traffic police. The organizer is the Ministerio de Educación.

The torch will pass through Cañas, Bagaces, Liberia, Puntarenas, San Ramón de Alajuela, Palmares, Naranjo, Grecia, Alajuela Centro and Heredia Centro before arriving in San José via Paseo Colón.

The route, of course, is that presumed to have been followed by a messenger from Guatemala who was delivering the news of independence 193 years ago. In fact, the messenger did not arrive until Oct. 13, but Costa Ricans mark the day when the municipal council in Guatemala City declared independence and started messengers to tell other residents of Central America.

This entry was posted in Costa Rica News. Bookmark the permalink.