Writers, poets and painters
Politics and presidents
Actors and singers


Arnoldo Mora
[1937-]. A philosopher. Studied philosophy in Belgium. In 1964 accomplished his doctor`s degree. Was a chief of Philosophy Department in the University of Costa Rica. In 1994-1998 a Minister of Culture. In 1995 got the cultural prize of Chile - a medal of Gabriel Minstral.

Bernardo Augusto Thiel Hoffman
[1850-1901]. Was born on April 1st in Germany (Elberfeld). In 1880 became the Costa Rica nationalized and became the second in history bishop of Costa Rica. He was supported by Jesuits who crowdly come to Costa Rica at that time, and he had an open conflict with president Prospero Fernandez, who in 1884 exhiled him accusing for illegal agitation. Thiel come back to country from Panama in 1886. In the garden of Cathedral Metropolitana in San Jose there is put his bust.

Carlos H. Aguilar Piedra
[1916-]. Was born on August 24th in Cartago. The first archeologist in Costa Rica history. He graduated Colegio San Luis Gonzaga in Cartago. In the years of 1935-1940 he started researches in Cartago province (Duan de Tucurrique, La Gloria de JUan Vinas, Llano Grande de Cartago, Tejar del Guarco). In 1940-1941 a chief of Zoology department in Museum Nacional. In 1946 graduated National School of Antropology and History in Mexico. In the years of 1946-1947 attended to University of Kansas (studied antropology and paleonthology). In 1947-1948 a teacher of geography and history in Colegio San Luis Gonzaga in Cartago and in years 1954-1962 a chief of Colegio Vacacional de Artes y Oficios. In 1962 became a professor at the University of Costa Rica. In 1964-1968 worked with exhibits in Gold Museum in San Jose. In 1968 cunducted the archeological works at the most famous archeological site - Guayabo (thus he was called "father of Guayabo". In 2003 he issued a book "El jade y el chaman". On January 2005 has been honoured with the nation`s highest award for culture - Premio Magon.

Enrique Baltodano Briceno
Famous doctor. Was born in Liberia. Graduated local primary school of Ascencion Esquiuel (in Liberia). In 1915 attended to Liceo de Costa Rica in San Jose. In 1922 decided to devote himself to medicine and left to Germany. Then he graduated the surgery course in University of Catalonia in Barcelona. In next years he added the postgraduated studies in Madrid and University of Sorbona (obstetricts and gynaecology). He subsequently researched the tropical deseaces in London. On coming back to Costa Rica (1930) was a doctor in Liberia and Bagaces. In 1955 and 1960 a director of hospital in Liberia (currently named after him).

Francisca Carrasco Jimenez
[1816-1890]. (Pancha). A national hero. Three times married. In 1842 she went on horse to San Jose and throw the stones against president Francisco Morazan. In 1856-1857 participated in fights against William Walker fillibuster in Rivas. In 1886 she was awarded by president of Costa Rica the monthly salary. In 1975 in Central Park in Hatillo (quarter of San Jose) was put her remembrance plateau. In 1985 a stamp with her face was issued. In 1994 she was recognized as national hero.

Franklin Chang Diaz
>[1950-]. Born on April 5th in San Rafael de Escazu. The Costa Rican astronomer, the only one from Latin America who had been in the space. His mother was Maria Eugenia Diaz and his father Ramon Chang Morales. In 1951 his parents moved with Franklin and his sister, Maria Eugenia, to Venezuela. In 1957, found out that Russians had launched Sputnik 1. Since that time he was climbing to the mango tree and watched the sky. On returning to Costa Rica graduated La Salle College in 1967 and decided to work in the National Bank of Costa Rica. In eight months he saved $50, and in 1969 traveled to Hartford, Connecticut where stayed at a relativeís house. He was accepted to the University of that state, but due to a misunderstanding, he was turned down. (The Admissions department at the university thought that he was Puerto Rican, thus a U.S. citizen). Luckily his teachers from the high school convinced the university to make an exception, and he was finally admitted.

After the university he applied for an astronaut position in NASA and... he was rejected. He didnít give up and decided to keep working in the United States. There, met his first wife, Canoce Buker, with whom he had two girls, Jean and Sonia. Years later he divorced and got married again with Peggy Doncaster, with whom he has a child named Lidia. After 10 years of staying in USA in 1980 he gained the american citizanship. Later tried again for an astronaut position in NASA. He was one of four thousand applicants that applied to nineteen positions that were available. Chang was chosen, and in 1981, began his training as an astronaut. On January 12, 1986, he participated in his first space mission aboard the Columbia spacecraft. He could observed the Halley Comet closely, and he conducted several experiments dealing with the ozone layer around the Earth. In total he participated in six space missions. He is currently working in the Advanced Space Propulsion Laboratory, where heís designing a plasma motor that promises to enable space shuttles to travel much faster and much further. Besides he is interested in researching of tropical diseases. Heís working closely with other researchers in Costa Rican the EARTH University and Research Center. In 2002 one specie of moth "Pheneus Changdiazi" was named after him. On June 6th 2002 he participated as the second men ever in 7th space mission.

Jorge Volio Jimenez
A former priest. During Tinoco dictatorship plotted against government from Nicaragua. His revolutionary forces were defeated by government troops led by army chief Joaguin Tinoco in battles near the Nicaraguan border in early 1919. On coming back to San Jose he was subsequently conferred the title of General. In 1921 he lead the Costa Rican troops against the Panama ones in border fightings. In 1923 formed the Reformist Party and ran without success for president. In that year Volio commanded a force across the border to intervene in Nicaragua. But he was upprehended by government soldiers in Liberia. In San Jose was examined by the doctors who diagnosed nervous hypersensitivity. He was taken to Belgium for psychiatric care. In San Joaguin there is a clinic of his name.

Juan Santamaria
A legendary national hero of Costa Rica, that due to his hair was called "a hedgehog". He was born in Alajuela. He was a drumer in Costa Rica arm forces. He was killed for nation during the battle at Santa Rosa inagainst an american filibuster William Walker, who wanted to annex Central America and return the slavery. Walker escaped to Santa Rosa and Costa Rica soldiers couldn`t approach to them due to the fireshootings. Juan Santamaria helped resolved the problem and achieved to set a fire under a Walker hiding place. Despite of the fact he lost his life, he made Walker retreated. On one of Alajuela squares there is his monument. In this town there is also museum devoted to him. His name got also the biggest International Airport in the country.

It`s not certain if it was his real name. According to some people it could be only a pseudonym. And according to the records in the church of Alajuela, on August 29th of 1831, a child of Manuela Gallego was christen as Juan Maria. There is a conviction that his religious mother added later a "Santa" to the name. The other hipothesis says that he was completely unreal and was thought out by Liberals at the end of XIX century.

Manuel Gonzalez Zeledon
[1864-1936]. Was born on December 24th in San Jose. His education end up at the age of 14. He comes from poor family, and that is why had to start to work to help his parents. In 1889 he left for 2,5 year to Bogota, where met vital representants of Colombian literature. Soon he became a consul of Costa Rica in Bogota. In 1892 he worked in Costa Rican Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in 1896 was a deputy for Congress. 1904-1905 a chief of National Statistic Office. In 1901 started writing political articles to national newspaper "El pais" (using the nickname "Magon"). In 1906 he left for New York, where for 16 years had been a chief of Latin America`s seccion of Craftsmen Asociation and in the years 1915-1920 had been Costa Rica`s consul. In 1936 left for Washington where became Costa Rica`s charge d`affairs. In 1961 in Costa Rica was initiated (today the most important) national cultural prize (under his name and nickname "Magon"). In 1964 in Park of Spain in San Jose was put the plate devoted for him.

Manuel Maria Gutierrez
[1829-1887]. Was born on September 3th in Heredia. In the years of 1842-1845 menaged an orchestra of Heredia province. Since 1852 a director of the Costa Rican National Army Orchestra. In 1852 was asked to compose the music for national anthem (after governments of USA and UK were to send their diplomatic representatives in Costa Rica). In 1858 left for Cuba for few months in order to complete and add new instruments to his orchestra.

Mario Chacon
[1911-]. One of the most famous Costa Rican composers. He composed around 250 songs, among others: "Caballito Nicoyano", "Asi es mi tierra", ""Mi novia linda" i "Ticas lindas". Now he is a honory president of Asociation of Composers and Music Authors.

Miguel Obregon Lizano
[1861-1950]. Was born on July 19th in Alajuela. In 1883 graduated University of Santo Tomas (philosophy specialization). In 1885 co-established the new school reform and made the first curriculum for national primary schools. In 1890 a school inspector of San Jose province. In 1894 married with Clotilde Loria Iglesias. In 1909 a teacher in Liceo de Costa Rica and Colegio Superior de Senoritas. In 1923 a Minister of Foreign Affairs. He was a establisher of libraries in Costa Rica. His name was granted to Nacional Library.

Minor C.Keith
[1848-1929]. Was born on January 19th in Brooklyn (New York). Son of Minor Hubbell Keith, a prosperous lumber merchant, and Emily Meiggs, sister of the railroad builder Henry Meiggs. Educated in private schools moved to Texas to manage a cattle ranch that his father bought for him in 1869. Abandoned the cattle industry in 1871 when Henry Meiggs invited him to work in the contract he had with the Costa Rican government to build a railroad from San Jose to the port of Limon. In 1874 took controll over that project after Meiggs death. He was a great lover of Indian Culture, collected gold, jades, stone and clay artifacts. An owner of Hacienda Mercedes, in which in 1887 after falling of big tree, were discovered plenty of Indian precolumbians gold artifacts (later his collection was delivered to the Museum of Brooklyn and the Museum of Natural History in New York. An owner of many bananas plantations, that in 1899 stuck to the Boston Fruit Co., making the worldwide renown United Fruit Company. In 1884 bought the goldmines in Las Juntas de Abangares.

Nicolas Ulloa Soto
[1799-1864]. He took part in several busissness in mines, coffee and merchandise. Was the head of the revolution of La Liga in 1835. In 1845 established the first military band in the country. In 1843 built the house (today it stands next to the right from Casa de la Cultura). In 1916 - 1938 in Heredia was a school of his name. In Central Park of Heredia there is put his bust.

Rafael Moya
In 1824 he inherit the house of Solar Pedro Antonio (the richest man in the province of Heredia). He took part in several busissness in mines, coffee and marchandise. Participated in nacional war of La Liga in 1835. In 1836 came back to Heredia and established the educational center (school of Father Paul). In the years of 1856 - 1864 was a governor of the Heredia province.

Ricardo Moreno Canas
[1890-1938]. Was born on May 8th in San Jose. A doctor - psychiatrist. Mother: Maria Canas, father: Inocente Moreno. Graduated the Colegio Seminario de Senoritas and Liceo de Costa Rica. Then obtained a scholarship to attend the Gibraltar University in Switzerland, where he received the title of Doctor and Surgeon in 1915. With the coming of World War I, he traveled to France in order to work as a surgeon in the Ambulances of the Automobile Club of France. He received several medals in 1918 because of his activity during the war. Came back to Costa Rica in June 1919 and joined the Faculty of Medicine of Costa Rica, and by 1925 he had become its President. In 1936 he was named the Chief of Surgery of the San Juan de Dios Hospital. In 1934 he carried the first open-heart operation in the country. In the years of 1932-1936 and 1936-1940 elected a deputy. Was even expected to be a president of the country. He ordered to build the famous Casa de Matute in San Jose (where he lived in years 1930-1938). Was shot by a madman on August 23th of 1938. Was noted for the fact that often didnít charge for his services. Ticos believe he had a spiritual powers and his spirit still visits some sick people and heals them.

Solar Pedro Antonio
[1760 - 1824]. The richest man in province of Heredia. In 1790 bought a large areas in Heredia (among others in the places where now Casa de la Cultura and Casa de Ulloa stands). Opened a few warehouses in Heredia. In September of 1797 got married with Sandoval Casamere.

Tobias Bolanos P.
A pilot and a pioneer of aviation in Costa Rica. In 1972 after him was named the Airport in Pavas.

© 2004; SLUPSK; Rafal Cezary Piechocinski