My first Sunday home in Atenas greeted me with a brand new sun in the sky!
It was the perfect way to start a day of renewal, rejuvenation and rejoicing. It
is the joyous 198th celebration of Costa Rica’s independence from Spain. We
honor our democracy and culture of peace with our traditional parades, songs
and celebrations. There are plenty of events going on in all the counties and I
invite you to participate in any way you enjoy. Move your body with thanks
for being able to do so.
I was too busy yesterday to make my customary Saturday rendezvous through
town but even during my short, local trips, I am able to see that efforts are
underway to restore positive neighborhood life in places like our central park.
Our grand democracy’s local politics has us heading into the exciting race for
mayor that will be held in February 2020. There are six candidates this time
around in our beloved Atenas, and as happens in small towns, everyone knows
or is related to one or several of the candidates. The important thing is to get
out and exercise our right to vote for the candidate we believe best represents
us and our vision of what our small town could be.
For many years, the currents of cultural inertia and business as usual in Atenas
have concerned me. My deeply-rooted need to feel I belong to the places where
I live compel me to engage, on some level, in local undertakings. The decisions
made on a local level impact my life and sharing the same space as others who
face the same or similar problems and express them at the voting booth, can
lead to changes that benefit us all. While I can empathize with the general
discontent, I find it difficult to support the apathy around local elections. Voters
can avail themselves of information necessary to make an educated decision.
Atenas’ beauty and climate have timeless appeal. Short-term visitors witness
moments of incomparable magnificence when just gazing out their window to
see spectacular sunsets, verdant mountains and amazing species of flowers and
birds. Those of us who live here permanently know that it is not always a walk
in the park! There are cultural differences that require a shift in our perspective
so that we can navigate our days successfully. I never forget how fortunate I am
that my parents’ courageous pilgrimage to NY in 1963 allowed me to become
bilingual, bicultural and able to experience the best of two worlds.
Have a wonderful day and a terrific week, Marietta