The capital of Costa Rica, San José not only boasts an idyllic location in the heart of Central American’s coffee country, but also an enviable climate, and is a prosperous and vibrant metropolis.
The Avenida Secunda is the name of the main artery that runs through its centre, a wide road usually crammed with taxis and buses. At first glance the city is anything but beautiful. Noisy, smelly, and the hectic traffic travcls threateningly along its streets and alleys making it a serious challenge for those pedestrians who dare to cross the road. However, a glimpse beyond San José’s chaotic façade soon reveals its inescapable charm.
The more that the coffee producers from the surrounding slopes prospered, the more the city blossomed bringing parks, squares, mansions and magnificent buildings, including the attractive Edificio Metalico, a building that consists entirely of prefabricated metal parts. The items were made in Belgium, shipped to Costa Rica and then welded together in 1892.
Music and dance are to be found throughout Costa Rica and in song and dance the South American temperament is plain to see. The music of the Central American countries is strongly influenced by a native African xylophone-like instrument, the marimba, along with punchy brass and lively rhythms.
San José has a relatively short but turbulent history, punctured by several devastating earthquakes, but its irresistible charm lives on!
2014, NR, 26 mins.