Not only is it amazing to be in a country that loves futball, or soccer, it’s amazing to be apart of the celebration. Both the love of the game and the love for Costa Rica. On game days, everyone makes arrangements for watching, including getting off work, moving class earlier and shortening the time, and everyone is dressed in their jersey or at the very least, red.
While many of my friends back in the US are talking about and Instagramig intense celebrations, I still believe that being here is an experience that you couldn’t have in the US. Like the US, the game is being shown everywhere , people are buying flags, red, white, and blue paint, but the difference is: games here mean more. You have to look near and far before you find someone who isn’t watching the game, who will be permanently changed after win or even a loss. And finally, there will be celebration all day and night before games and after wins. (Think Friday Night Lights. )
The first game Costa Rica played, my friends and I were in a small town of Montezuma. The entire population of Montezuma and all its visitors piled into the local bar chicos, starting 2 hours before start time. Every time Costa Rica scored, there was cheering (people, music played, shouting from the mic) for what seemed to be at least 10 minuets. And when the won, the entire bar joined together to dance, to sing, to hug, to kiss, and to smile about the pride that had over come then. Dancing celebrations lasted for at least 20-30 minutes, but even when that stopped, people were still celebrating at dinner time.
The next game, I was back in Heredia, my class was changed from 9-12 to 8-9:30 so we could watch the game. Our university was playing the game in the amphitheater and the event was sponsored by Pepsi (passing out noisemakers and Pepsi jerseys). The area was completely packed, people sitting on the ground, standing in the back, and sitting or standing way too close to those next to them. The actual watching of the game was insane. I thought I was going to pass out from all the cheering and jumping after we scored a goal. What was crazy, is that people definitely were more passionate when we scored than when we won. But not too worry, as soon as the game ended, everyone you saw shouted and cheered to you, every car in the street was honking its horns (this lasted forever) and families went out to celebrate with ice cream.
My roommates and I walked into the mall to grab snacks and we had a total High School Musical experience. As soon as we entered, there were three other groups of people – one walking in from another exit, one on our right, and one in front of us – them emerged. As we all came together we were signing the Costa Rican World Cup song and dancing. It was so powerful. Later that afternoon, a bunch of us went down to Heredia Center (the game had been shown in the streets of Heredia and San Jose and the national Futball stadium) and the streets were packed with people, even three hours later. It was incredible to be a part of the cheering and dancing. It’s a culture and experience I will never forget.
Can’t wait to the game today! HOLAY HOLAY HOLAY HOLAY, TICOS .
Futball is in their blood.