The second Sunday in March marks the annual celebration of Día del Boyero (Oxcart Driver’s Day). The festival takes place in San Antonio de Escazú; a suburb of San Jose. There is a colorful parade of oxcarts, and blessings of animals and crops by local priests.
A Boyero is a person who guides a team of oxen pulling one of Costa Rica’s famous oxcarts, or carretas in Spanish. If you go back in time about 100 years ago, you would see Boyero’s coming down country roads in the mountains carrying oxcarts full of coffee beans. Now the Boyero is typically considered a” thing of the past ” and the painted oxcart is more of a novelty than a functional piece of daily Costa Rican living.
This tradition has been going on for 26 years as a way to preserve the cultural tradition of the Boyero. The Costa Rican people use this day to look back and reflect on values, traditions, and activities of the past, and to take deep pride in their culture.
The day’s festivities include: a mass in honor of the fallen boyeros, typical and folk dance performances, mask parades through the streets, concerts, a fireworks show, and a grand parade of cattle and oxcarts through the streets of Escazú!