The President of the Republic, Carlos Alvarado, and the Minister of Culture and Youth, Sylvie Durán, signed Decree No. 42670-C, which declares as intangible cultural heritage, of the community of Santa Cruz de Guanacaste, the celebration of Santo Cristo de Esquipulas, and whose publication in the official newspaper La Gaceta, became effective on December 2, 2020.
The declaration of intangible cultural heritage of the “Celebration to the Holy Christ of Esquipulas”, also known as “Demand of Esquipulas”, “Fiestas al Cristo Negro” or “Fiestas al Negro Pencón”, which takes place annually from January 14 to 18 in the canton of Santa Cruz, Guanacaste, urges the community that carries this tradition to seek as wide a participation as possible in the elaboration of a work plan for the safeguarding of the cultural manifestation. This must contain measures and strategies that promote the identification, documentation, investigation, preservation, protection, promotion, valorization, transmission, basically through formal and non-formal education, and revitalization of the cultural manifestation.
In addition, with this decree, the institutions of the public and private sectors will contribute, to the extent of their possibilities, in the annual celebration of the celebration and will be able to participate in the work plan for the safeguarding of this important traditional manifestation of the canton of Santa Cruz.
“We celebrate the declaration of intangible cultural heritage of the Festivities of Santo Cristo de Esquipulas, a traditional Santa Cruz manifestation that involves men and women; older adults, adults, youth, boys and girls and who has completed more than 200 years of practice. With this decree, guidelines are established that will make it possible to strengthen the safeguarding processes of this manifestation transmitted from generation to generation.
With it, the historical memory of Santa Cruz is promoted, the sense of belonging is reinforced in its inhabitants and our knowledge and appreciation for the richness and cultural diversity of the country is enriched. In addition, it is an expression that exceptionally reflects the Central American region and the elements that make us up as peoples. Its celebration will be a beautiful beginning of our 2021 anniversary and of our Pro Tempore Presidency of the Integration System of the region ”, expressed Sylvie Durán, Minister of Culture and Youth.
“A declaration of intangible cultural heritage is an official recognition of the trajectory of a cultural manifestation over time, thanks to the transmission of knowledge, knowledge and experiences of the community that carries it. This is a tribute to men and women from Santa Cruz who have tried to safeguard, preserve and protect the development of a festival that gives identity to the Guanacaste people, ”said Paola Salazar, head of the Intangible Cultural Heritage Unit of the Cultural Heritage Center.