Monday is a day to recognize the many cultures that make up nation

Monday is the Día del Encuentro de las Culturas in Costa Rica, a time to celebrate the many cultures that are found here.

This is the Costa Rica version of Columbus Day, which is celebrated in the United States.

The day has more meaning this year because the legislature in June just defined the nation as multi-ethnic and multicultural by amending the Costa Rican Constitution to say that.

A number of nationalities and even undocumented immigrants are listed in the legislative measure as those making the country multicultural. North Americans are not listed specifically.

The day is a legal holiday, but it is one of the lesser ones. Employees can take the day off if they wish, but they will not be paid. They are not paid double for working.

The U.S. Embassy noted that it will be closed, as will government offices and other diplomatic posts of other countries.

Christopher Columbus did visit the Caribbean coast in 1502 but settlement by the Spanish provoked lengthy wars with the native inhabitants that still resonates today.

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