Children’s Day or El Día del Niño is a celebration in Costa Rica that happens every year on September 9th. This playful celebration honors all the children of Costa Rica with festivities and various activities.
El Día del Niño was established in Costa Rica in 1946. Costa Rica was actually one of the first countries to celebrate Children’s Day. In 1954, the United Nations encouraged all other countries to follow suit and observe this holiday. Although it is not a legal holiday in Costa Rica, it is celebrated across the country with laughter, parties, and plenty of sweets!
There is much more to this day than presents and parties. It is an important day because it is a time to observe and promote the welfare of children around the world. Children’s Day is essential for promoting children’s rights worldwide. Some of these rights include freedom from discrimination, entitlement to name and nationality, free and compulsory education, protection, love and affection and so much more.
More often than not, Children’s Day in Costa Rica falls on a school day. When this happens, schools organize various activities for the children. Teachers, parents, and sponsors fill the day with games, treats, competitions, and happiness. From face painting to relay races, the children enjoy plenty of silly entertainment. It is a day the children truly look forward to.
This year, I had the wonderful opportunity to sponsor gifts for 54 kids in the small town of Artola, near Playa del Coco. The local church was hosting a celebration for them. Boys and girls from the ages of 1 to 15 years old were all looking forward to a party and a little surprise!
I headed to Liberia with my trusted assistant Julia, so she could help with the selection of toys for girls and we let our inner kid out as we shopped for the presents. Dolls, Legos, fire trucks, jewelry kits, soccer balls and more! We even got the kids two piñatas, one for the boys one for the girls and plenty of candy and treats to fill them both to go truly crazy!
After seeing the photos and the smiles on the kids’ faces, I couldn’t be happier. Seeing the kids whacking the piñata and squealing with joy when the candy spilled out believe it or not is heartwarming. This is what Children’s Day is all about in Costa Rica! Bringing happiness to the kids, most if not all living in poverty and letting them know they are loved and appreciated. It has been a hard last two years with the pandemic. The simple things and small kind actions make a big difference here to the children and families of Costa Rica.
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