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PostCOSTA RICA: Cultural Contrasts (Ronald Hilton, USA, 08/06/00 4:17 am)
In the political chaos of Central America, Costa Rica appears as a charming island of peace and democracy, with a mostly white population. The capital, San Jose, justifies this assessment. There is, however, another Costa Rica. Jaqui White is there now, but I wonder if she is going to Cartago, the old capital, east of San Jose. It is enjoying its annual moment of glory as the site of the shrine of Nuestra Senora de los Angeles, "La Negrita", the little black Virgin, found in 1635 and proclaimed the patron of Costa Rica. The spectacle of peasants going on their knees to the shrine is like that at the Virgen de Guadalupe in Mexico. As is usual, miracles are attributed not to the Virgin Mary but to that particular Virgin. There are many miracle workers as there are statues of the Virgin.