Tag Archives: Jose Figueres Ferrer

Costa Rica — no army because….

I met Karen Figueres this morning at breakfast. She was upset. She’d flown in from Costa Rica to Boston yesterday, and in Miami had received word that her country had been invaded.  She was hoping she could find something about the situation on U.S. television news yesterday evening. OK, you can stop laughing now. Not about the invasion, but about the chances she would find any news about it anywhere on American television. And you can start laughing again, because evidently it was a big misunderstanding caused by a Nicaraguan military commander using Google maps. Google maps about this area are wrong.

But Karen’s distress was real. You see, she’s a former First Lady of Costa Rica — twice. It was her husband Jose Figueres Ferrer who abolished Costa Rica’s army back in the 1950’s. That was one of the accomplishments of his first term in office. Among others, he also granted blacks and women the right to vote. Because of meeting her this morning (we were introduced via Facebook by a mutual friend), and thinking all day that her country was being invaded, I’ve been reading about him on wikipedia. I’d say more about him here, but it’s been a very long day. I’ll let you follow the wikipedia link and see if you agree with me — Jose sounds like someone who didn’t do things in the usual way — definitely a guy who was in touch with his Inner Guadalupe.

Posting an addition to this entry after a friend shared a link of official media photos.