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The Tico Times , 25.02.1992, Mark Kelly, "Costa Rica trade with Poland increasing"

Poland has become the most recent nation to establish an embassy in Costa Rica, bringing the total to 52 countries with a diplomatic presence here.

The Polish embassy is housed in a mansion in the exclusive Barrio Escalante section of town, under the administration of Ambassador Kazimierz Duchowski, a carreer diplomat on his first assignment as chief of an embassy staff.

His title is impressive. Officially, Duchovsky is the Embajador Extraordinario y Plenipotenciaro de la Republica de Polonia en la Republica de Costa Rica.

From his base in San Jose, Duchovski also serves as ambassador to Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala and soon Panama.

The embassy open only 18 months, is no less impressive than the ambassador`s title, decorated and furnished elaborately in the style of Poland.

A recent visit with the ambassador began with a shot of one of Poland`s most famous exports, Wyborova vodka.

Downing it in one shot, the ambassador let out a hearty sto lat, meaning "100 years".

Duchovski said Poland has strong economic reasons for establishing a diplomatic presence here. Trade between the isthmus and Poland is substancial and his country is a big consumer of Costa Rican bananas and coffee. Large numbers of intravenous feeding devices, of which Poland is a major exporter, and purchased by Costa Rica.

The value of Costa Rica`s export to Poland totalled $2.3 million in the first 11 months of 1992 and the ambassador expects the figure to grow to $5 million a year within the next two years when Costa Rica beginsimporting Polish-built Fiat 500s. Italy`s Fiat soon will be producing 500.000 of the popular little car in Poland a year.

Costa Rica also exports house plants to Poland and imports Polish-made fishing vessels. Duchowski said that the history of friendly relations between Poland and Costa Rica dates back more than 100 years when a contingent of Polish officers and soldiers trained and fought alongside the army of Costa Rica in the 1856 campaign against filibuster William Walker.

Costa Rica`s Housing Minister Cristobal H. Zawadzki, was born in Poland and Security Minister Luis Fishman`s family has several Polish members. Teodoro Picado Michalski, who was Costa Rican president from 1944 - 1948, was of Polish descent.

There are many other Poles in Costa Rica, including Ernesto Guttieres, who owns the auto agency Polones and manufacturing concerns. He was formerly Poland`s honorary consul in Costa Rica. In addition, Costa Rican government officials have travelled to Poland recently to further cement relations and both countries regard this friendship as a top priority, the ambassador said. Costa Rica has had an embassy in Poland since October, 1990.

The Tico Times , 25.02.1994, Rafal C. Piechocinski, "Costa Rica and Poland"

But that`s not all. Only a few people know that in 1865, Costa Rica was to have been a shelter for many Poles who had to escaped from Poland because of the January Insurrection defeat. Costa Rica was expected to establish a few Polish settlements. That plan miscarried and almost nobody remembers that. Only a few articles in old, yellowed newspapers are testimony of these projects.

Many years later, in 1944 - 1948, the President of Costa Rica was Teodoro Picado Michalski, who descended from Poles. His mother, Jadwiga Michalska, was born in Krakow, the third largest town in Poland. During her study in London, she met a Costa Rican doctor, Teodoro Picado Morin, and married him in 1898. They settled in Costa Rica, where on January 10th 1900 was born their son Teodoro.

President Teodoro Picado Michalski and his mother.

Costa Rica president Teodoro Picado Michalski (1944 - 1948) descended from Poland. He was born on January 10th of 1900 in Costa Rica (San Jose). His mother Jadwiga Michalska was born in Krakow. She studied in London, where she married with Costa Rica man Teodoro Picado Morin (a doctor).

In July of 1900 Jadwiga moved with a child to Geneva, where she wanted to finish her study. She come back in 1902 to San Jose where after 1,5 year she became a doctor (the first woman-doctor in Costa Rica history). During that time was born her second son - Rene. In 1910 she left to Europe to visit Paris, Munich, Salzburg and Wien. Finally she come to Poland where stayed in Piotrkow Trybunalski, Warsaw and Lodz (in the last one were living her parents). In 1911 she come back to Costa Rica and continue working as a doctor.

In 1911 she come back to Costa Rica and continue working as a doctor. (Through many years there was a legend about a polish women-doctor who cared for the people from the most remoted areas of Costa Rica. Some people even claimed she had the supernatural energy.

Teodoro Picado Michalski visited Poland twice. First in 1910 with his mother, and second time in 1929 (he visited Lodz). They said he could speak polish fluently.

Poles in Costa Rica

In 1837 Costa Rica was visited by Edmund Strzelecki, and in the years of 1844 - 1850 another polish man Jozef Wae=rszewicz made the biological research there. He gathered and described many species of orchids in Costa Rica. In 1877 Costa Rican flora was searched by Henryk Polakowski. He wrote the first book about plants of Cenytral America, that was to be translated into German and Spanish.

In 1889, Hugo Zapalowicz`s ship called to Puntarenas. He said Puntarenas is the main port of Pacific side of Central America and is one of the most beautiful town in that region. In 1865 Costa Rica was to be a destination of Polish escapers who left Poland after January Insurrection. The committee was gave up the same year.

In the years 1905 - 1906 Jerzy Loth visited Costa Rica. After that there was a period with no significant traces of Poles. In 1940`s Rudolf Pomerski come to Costa Rica. He was invited by off that time president Calderon Guardia. He led the training about social insurance. He come back to Poland in 1947.

After Second Wold War Costa Rica was visited by small number of Poles (Jolanta Klimowicz, Elzbieta Dzikowska, Olgierd Budrewicz). There was settled Jozef Mycielski, who travelled through USA and Central America.

In Costa Rica performed also polish theater from Jelenia Gora. It was led by Alina Obidniak. In 1970 there live about 10 descendants from Poland...

Minister of Forein Affair in Poland

Costa Rican Minister of Foreign Affair Fernando E. Naranjo has met with on June 18th of 1996 with vicepresidents of polish Seym and Senate. They talked with Aleksander Małachowski about political transformance in Poland and about up-coming parliamental ellections.

It was pointed out that both countries have very good relationships and it was believed they will be even stronger. E. Naranjo told Grzegorz Kurczuk that Poland is a country that will play very vital economical and political role in Central Europe. Kurczuk said that Costa Rica is the main and most important trade partner from Central America. They talked also about polish polonia, which is very little but play vital role in Costa Rica.

Minister come with Rose Marie Karpinsky de Murillo (from the Special Mission), who is a daughter of Pole who wasa former soldier of Nacional Army (AK). In the years 1968 - 1987 he served as a president of Legislative Assembly (as the first woman in Costa Rica history).

A Pole arrested in Costa Rica (2000).

10. XI. 2001. In the airport of Juan Santamaria in Costa Rica was arested a Pole, who tried to smuggle 47 very important precolombian archeological pieces.

In two suitcases of Jan Sz. were founded historical ceramic pieces. He told journalists, that he bought them in Nicaragua for 400 dollars. He claimed that he come to Costa Rica from his way from Miami.

There was no evidences in his passport testifying his stay in Nicaragua. But it was investigated that he has been in Costa Rica three time during one year.(mon)

Prime Minister of Poland in Costa Rica (3.XII.1998).

Prime Minister of Poland Jerzy Buzek has visited Costa Rica after Mexico. He met with president of Costa Rica Miguel Angel Rodriguez. He come in order to rewake the relationships with Central American countries.

Costa Rica is the most important central american trade partner for Poland. In the recent years their trade turnovers rose very quickly (from $600.000 in 1990 to $40 millions in 1996). Poland exports there mainly steel goods, clothes and chemical goods. Poland buys bananas from Costa Rica (90 % of import) and coffee. There are hopes for selling to Costa Rica agricultural planes.

In Costa Rica there is the most numbered Polonia in Central America (around 3.000 people).

Costa Rican ambassador arrested (1993).

In 1993 ambassador of Costa Rica in Poland Carlos Vargas Solis was arrested in Okecie Airport with 12 kg of heroine. He was dismissed and lost the diplomatic immunity. He was sentenced for 5 years in jail.

Diplomatic calendary

In 1990 the embassy of Costa Rica in Warsaw was established. In 1992 was signed the cultural agreement between Poland and Costa Rica. In 1992 too was signed the agreement about the non-visa crossing.

Polish delegation in Costa Rica

On August 2002 to Costa Rica arrived the delegation from Poland leading by Andrzej Za3ucki. They met with vicecanciller Tica Elayne Whyte in the Foreign Ministry building and talked about trade, tourism, academic exchange and better commercial cooperacion between the two nations. According to press chief Miguel Diaz, Poland currently buys only bananas from Costa Rica, and to Costa Rica are sent industrial and farm products from Poland.



San Jose


National parks
Fauna i flora


San Jose - capital of Costa Rica
Volcanos of Costa Rica
Biographies of Costa Rica`s presidents
Costa Rica`s encyclopedia from A through L till Z
Hitoy-Cerere Biological Reserve
Volcan Tenorio - the least known volcano of Costa Rica
Gallery of Costa Rica places
Bananas of Costa Rica
Poland - Costa Rica (the current and historic relations between two nations)


„Ticos don`t be sad” – article in The Tico Times (VII.2010)

„A polish in love with Costa Rica - the story of Rafal Cezary Piechocinski” – article from CR`s Pocket Cultures (26.IV.2012)

„Pasión a primera vista” – article from Costa Rica newspaper La Nacion (17.IX.2006)

© 1998-2017; SŁUPSK; Rafał Cezary Piechociński