Costa Rica celebrates 72 years without an army today.

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On December 1, 1948, the then President of the Founding Board of the Second Republic, Mr. José Figueres Ferrer, in an emotional and symbolic act at the Bellavista Barracks, declared the National Army abolished in our country. Absolutely conscious and decisive act, one of those that become part of the transcendent history of a country.

In the event of December 1, and as a corollary of it, Mr. José Figueres immediately handed over the keys to the Barracks to a higher educational institution, the recently founded University of Costa Rica, with the purpose that the military building would be established current National Museum, as a center for anthropological studies.

In 1949, the National Constituent Assembly elevated the wise decision of December 1 to Constitutional rank, thus sealing the civilian will of a people, after a series of events that brought mourning and pain to many Costa Rican families.

So that our young men and women would always keep this heroic act in mind, by decree of December 24, 1986, December 1 of each year is declared “Day of the Abolition of the Army.”

The Ministry of Public Education was officially instructed to issue the guidelines for the annual celebration of this anniversary in all educational centers in the country. In this way, it was intended that the act of that December 1 would become part of the long-term memory of our people.

Excerpt from the Speech of Dra. Sonia Marta Mora Escalante
Minister of Public Education Year 2014

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