March 23, 2012

0154 COSTA RICA - Area de Conservación Guanacaste - Hacienda Santa Rosa (UNESCO WHS)

I tend to believe that Sophia is right, and I'm a lucky guy: I haven't found this postcard on the Internet, so it's a rarity. Muchas gracias, Sophia. In addition, the Santa Rosa's Casona was burned down in May 2001 and later was re-built, and  I believe, although I have no argument, that the image was taken before the fire.

As I said here, despite the limited number of cultural sites, Costa Rica is the most visited nation in the Central American region. Neither the site which includes this hacienda is a cultural one, but its historical significance isn't neglected.

Stretching from the Pacific across the Cordillera de Guanacaste to the Atlantic, in the northwestern part of Costa Rica, Area de Conservación Guanacaste (included among UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1999), which comprises Santa Rosa, Guanacaste, Rincón de la Vieja National Parks and the Junquillal Bay Wildlife Refuge, contains a range of habitats, including some of the most pristine wetland forests worldwide and the best dry forest habitats in Central America.

Santa Rosa National Park (Parque Nacional Santa Rosa) was originally created to protect the scene of the Battle of Santa Rosa (20 March 1856), won by Costa Rican army over the forces of filibuster William Walker, became president of Nicaragua a few months before, after the failure of the adventure called Republic of Sonora, whose president was also. The intensions of Walker were to conquer the five provinces of Central America, but Juan Rafael Mora Porras, the President of Costa Rica, guessed his plan and on 27 February 1856 declared war to Nicaragua. The Costa Rican army, led by the president, began the march on 4 March from San José to the northern border, arriving in Liberia on 12 March, where they joined the battalion organized there (Moracia Battalion).

When Walker realized what was happening, he sent troops, under the leadership of colonel Schlessinger, which entered in Costa Rica through the road that joined Nicaragua with Liberia and which passed by the Hacienda Santa Rosa, where they arrived on 19 March. The Costa Ricans, meanwhile, began the walk to Santa Rosa and on 20 March at 4 o'clock, armed with rifles, sabres, and bayonets, began the attack, surrounded the mercenaries that had stationed themselves in the casona, and fourteen minutes later they won the battle. In April, Costa Rican troops penetrated into Nicaraguan territory and inflicted a defeat on Walker's men at the Second Battle of Rivas, in which Juan Santamaría played a key role. In nowadays, April 11, the day of victory at Rivas, but also the day of Santamaria's death, is a Costa Rican national holiday (National Hero’s Day or Juan Santamaria Day). Walker was executed on September 12, 1860, in Trujillo, by the Honduran authorities.

The farm kept for years its strategic significance. This place was the location of two more battles of Costa Rican forces against invading forces from Nicaragua, in 1919 and in 1955. Now the hacienda is museum, inside the house being photos, illustrations, carbines, and other military paraphernalia commemorating the battles. One room is furnished in period style. Another one is a small chapel. Large wooden mortars and pestles are on display, along with decrepit chaps and centenary riding gear. There's also a good nature exhibit, and outside is a large guanacaste tree.

About the stamp I wrote extensively here.

sender: Sophia Machado (direct swap)
sent from San José (Costa Rica), on 30.01.2012
foto: Julio C. Sequeira

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