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.
ICADS and Pitzer College celebrate and reflect on 30 years of working together in Study Abroad!
A few weeks ago, ICADS received an email from an alumnus from 1993, which was only a few years into the existence of the program. Hearing a little about this once student's experience and how ICADS changed the trajectory of their life rang familiar to us here, and we hope to celebrate that legacy and the mission that enables it.
As we approach one year since the COVID-19 pandemic began, we reflect on a year of change and adaptation, and we look forward to a new chapter in 2021!