Guanacaste Day is a Costa Rican holiday celebrating Costa Rica’s annexation of Guanacaste province in 1824. It is celebrated every July 25th. Also known as the annexation of Nicoya, it was the transition of a big chunk of land from Nicaragua to Costa Rica.
That land had three mayor cities, Nicoya, Santa Cruz and Liberia, after a few negotiations in open meetings the three cities decided to call a referendum which took place in Nicoya.
It was a divided decision, Nicoya and Santa Cruz voted yes, only Liberia voted no. So the annexation won.
And finally the Central American Federal Republic passed the law and signed it on July 25th 1824, allowing Guanacaste Province become part of Costa Rican territory.
Annexation of the Partido of Nicoya
The people of Nicoya, in a public event called “cabildo abierto”, the equivalent to modern referendums, decided to annex the Partido de Nicoya to the Republic of Costa Rica. On July 25, 1824, Nicoya was formally annexed to Costa Rica. Since then, the coat of arms of Nicoya states the words: “De la patria por nuestra voluntad” which could be translated as “part of the homeland by our own will”.