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Story Behind the Anthem: Costa Rica

Story Behind the Anthem

Costa Rican Flag

The story of the Costa Rican national anthem is an interesting one. In 1852, the diplomatic representatives of the United States and the United Kingdom were to arrive, and the president of Costa Rica at the time, Juan Rafael Mora Porras, wanted to receive them with the national anthem. However, Costa Rica had no national anthem. Therefore, the president requested that the director of the Costa Rican National Army orchestra, Manuel María Gutiérrez, compose the music for a national anthem. Although Gutierrez insisted he knew nothing about musical composition, he was thrown in prison on the terms that he would be set free once he had produced the piece of music. The resulting composition was played for the first time in the Presidential Palace on June 11, 1852.

In 1903, a contest was held for composing the lyrics to the anthem, and it was won by José María Zeledón Brenes. The music and lyrics were officially declared as the national anthem in 1949.

(For the English translation of the lyrics, please see text below the video)


Noble homeland, your beautiful flag

Proof of your life it gives us
Under the unsullied blue of your skies,
Peace rests, white and pure.

In the tenacious battle of fruitful toil,
That which brings a glow to men’s faces,
Your sons, simple farm hands,
Gained eternal renown, esteem and honor.
Eternal renown, esteem and honor.

Hail, gentle homeland!
Hail, mother of love!
When anyone should attempt to besmirch your glory,
You will see your people, valiant and virile,
The rustic tool into a weapon transform.

Hail, O homeland! Your prodigal soil
Sweet shelter and sustenance gives us.
Under the unsullied blue of your sky,
May peace and labor ever live!


About Cindy Tovar

Born in Flushing, Queens to Colombian parents, Cindy has always loved reading and writing. For this reason, she entered Montclair State University to pursue an English degree, but instead fell in love with and graduated with a B.A. in Psychology. During her time at Montclair State, Cindy joined the Latin American Student Organization (LASO) on campus. She immediately felt comfortable surrounded by peers that shared both love and pride for the Latino culture, something she had never experienced before. She ultimately became president of LASO. Since then, Cindy has earned her M.S. Ed. in Early Childhood Special Education from Bank Street College, and works as a bilingual Special Education preschool teacher in Brooklyn. Despite feeling exhausted by the time she reaches her New Jersey home, she still uses her spare time to write. Joining the Being Latino family is one of the best things that has happened to Cindy because it fulfills her in two ways: She can write to her heart’s content while reaching an engaging audience, and it helps her stay connected to her Latino culture. You can find more of Cindy’s writing on her personal blogs: Dagny’s Dichotomy, and Cindy’s Chronicles.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and should not be understood to be shared by Being Latino, Inc.


  1. How appropriate awesome, I just came back from there!

  2. pura vida mae!!!
    so happy my little country is getting some love :)

  3. Awesome!!!

  4. I love my country Cosa Rica!!!! Pura Vida!!!!!!!!

  5. Finally!!! We’re getting some love!!!


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