Trekking to the polls from the Nairi Awari Indigenous Reservation
The Costa Rican democracy has long been held as a shining example for the rest of Central America. Democracy has not only made Costa Rica a stable country but a peaceful country, existing without an army for over half a century. Because of this, democracy and our right to vote is something that we can’t take for granted. Democracy only works if people show up and participate. Of course, at Pacuare Lodge, getting to the polls takes real dedication. It is not something you can do on your lunch hour.
Costa Rican presidential elections
Since 1949, Costa Rica has been a constitutional republic. Costa Rica holds open elections for president every four years. The first round of elections was held this year on February 4th, 2018. For a presidential candidate to win the election in the first round, they need to get 40% of the votes. As this did not happen, the top two candidates went up against each other for a second round of voting on April 1, 2018.
Getting to the polling station
Whether your party wins or loses, taking part is important. The future belongs to those that show up. So, on February 4th and April 1st, 2018, we made sure to show up! But, when you live on the Nairi Awari Indigenous Reservation, getting to the closest polling station is no easy task.
The closest voting is a small town called Tres Equis, about three hours from the Nairi Awari reserve. On election day, a local family that we work with, and other members of the indigenous community, woke up to make the trek to the polls. Siberiano, his wife and eldest son started the trek along the Pacuare River. To get to the main road, you have to cross the river by cableway. Then trek some more before taking a bus 15 minutes to Tres Equis.
Once at the polling station, you show your ID and place your vote. Afterward, you begin the three-hour trek back to the Nairi Awari Indigenous Reservation. It’s a long way to go to place your vote, but it is worth it!
You can be sure that everyone will be making the trek to rock the vote every four years. Because in Costa Rica we treasure our democracy and celebrate our right to vote freely.
Pacuare Lodge is a luxury eco-tourism resort nestled on the banks of the Pacuare River. We combine luxurious amenities, unmatched service, and our celebrated sustainability philosophy with the natural gifts that the Pacuare River gives us.