Day of the Black Person and Afro-Costa Rican Culture in Costa Rica in 2022

Day of the Black Person and Afro-Costa Rican Culture in Costa Rica in 2022
Arenal Volcano in central Costa Rica at sunrise. Image by Panther Media , via Deposit Photos

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Day of the Black Person and Afro-Costa Rican Culture
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2023 Costa Rica Sun, Sep 3 National Holiday
2022 Costa Rica Sun, Sep 4 National Holiday
  Summary

A day to promote the contributions of the African diaspora in Costa Rica and to eliminate all forms of discrimination against people of African descent.

About the Day of the Black Person and Afro-Costa Rican Culture

This day is a non-mandatory pay holiday in Costa Rica. It is observed on August 31st, though the date of the official holiday will be the following Sunday after August 31st.

In August 2021, the National Assembly deputies approved, in the first debate, a bill to declare August 31st, the Day of the Black Person and Afro-Costa Rican Culture, free for the working population.

“The declaration as a non-compulsory holiday is a necessary recognition and responds to a wide clamour of the Limonense population with the purpose of consolidating this celebration,” said Eduardo Cruickshank, proposing deputy.

In addition, this would allow broad participation of all the inhabitants of the country in the activities carried out around this date, the legislator continued. In this way, August 31st would be added to the other two holidays on the calendar that are non-mandatory - August 2nd, Day of the Virgin of the Angels, and December 1st, which commemorates the abolition of the army.

On November 22nd 2021, Law 10,050 came into force. This law declares August 31st as an official national holiday and commemorates the "Day of the Black Person and Afro-Costa Rican Culture". 

Employees who receive daily or weekly payment (in non-commercial activities), are not entitled to receive payment of this holiday if they do not work that day, but if they work during this non-mandatory payment holiday, then they will be entitled to receive their ordinary daily salary. In these cases, overtime payment during this type of holiday is equivalent to time and a half (1.5) the regular hourly wage.

For Cruickshank, the absence of a declaration of this date as a legal holiday has been an impediment to the participation of many people from Limon and other Costa Ricans interested in the issue of Afro-descendants.

From 2021, August 31st will also be commemorated as the International Day of Afro-descendants by the United Nations. Costa Rica presented this initiative to the General Assembly, with the sponsorship of 52 countries.

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