Thursday November 30, 2023.

November 30, 2023

December 1st: A Celebratory Pause for Peace

On December 1st, Costa Rica commemorates the Day of the Abolition of the Army, a historical milestone achieved on October 11, 1949. Pioneering the way for global peace, Costa Rica proudly became the world's first country to bid farewell to its military forces. Tomorrow the Guanacaste region will experience a hushed celebration, marked by closures in banks, schools, and select retailers. Some service offerings may be reduced in Las Catalinas. December 1st serves as a reminder that in the absence of military might, the nation echoes a commitment to diplomacy and international cooperation.

On October 11, 1949, a pivotal decision by the Founding Board of the Second Republic marked a transformative moment in Costa Rican history — the abolition of the army. This significant event is enshrined within the 75-page document known as the Political Constitution of the Republic of Costa Rica of 1949, a cornerstone in the archival collection of the Second Republic Founding Board. Comprising 137 articles, this constitutional document declares, in Article 12, the outlawing of a permanent army.

This was a bold stance that crystallized Costa Rica's commitment to a path of peace, standing as a testament to its visionary approach to governance that has allowed the country to become an example at the world level of a pacifist and civilian nation. Resources from the army were reinvested, prioritizing the development of social aspects such as health and education.

Photos from the General Directorate National Archive Costa Rica.

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