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Las Mascaradas in Costa Rica are quite a celebration!

December 27, 2019

Today it’s Halloween in the United States, and Costa Rica has its way to celebrate it. Since 1996, Costa Rican government declared October 31st, National Mascaradas’ Day… But what are mascaradas?

“Mascaradas” are masks made of paper and bigger than a person’s head. Those masks are painted with brilliant colors and put in a structure which looks like a human torso. People dress them and then get inside the mascarada as if it were a costume.

People dress up with the mascarada and dance with Costa Rican traditional music played by a cimarrona. There are Mascarada parades in local towns that are part of the community’s celebrations. Those activities are called “fiestas patronales” (they’re kin of fairs!)

Anything can be represented in a mascarada: from animals to local legend characters such as The Grimm, The Devil or “La Segua”; from skeletons to even Costa Rican politicians or some iconic characters of Latin American pop culture.


The main goal of this celebration is to promote the different cultural manifestations existing in Costa Rican society, as a contribution to recover the country’s cultural identity.

May 08, 2020

ICADS: Learning Through a Lens

Abi started to work with ICADS this year, and in this post she shares her experience taking photos in our programs.

April 24, 2020

COVID-19, Costa Rica, Study Abroad and ICADS

COVID-19 has impacted the world, Costa Rica, and of course ICADS. In this blog post we reflect on how we are dealing with this situation as a country and as a study abroad institution. Enjoy the reading!

March 03, 2020

Field Guides: The Bridge Between Wildlife and People

March 3rd is World Wildlife Day and for this day, Field Program professor David Norman tells us his experience working on a field guide for one Costa Rican national park.