I just found a dead Irishman from Limerick, I said, quite pleased with myself. Well, he said, there are a few of us alive here, too. Conall French and his mum Aisling (from Bray, Co. Wicklow) own an art gallery in San José Costa Rica. Gallería Namu runs along Fair Trade principles rather than by consignment. Artists are paid upfront for their work, which is then sold on to discerning tourists and collectors. Their mask collection is quite something. And if you’re simply interested in knowing more about the artwork of the various indigenous tribes, then this is the place to visit.
Cementerio de Extranjeros, San José Costa Rica
I’d stopped in on my way back from a visit to the Foreigners’ Cemetery where those unfit for burial in the nearby Catholic cemetery (i.e., foreigners) are housed. Located at the corner of Avenida 10 and Calle 20, Cementario de Extranjeros is now home to the remains of people from Germany, Norway, Wales, Ireland, England, Scotland, the USA, Peru, Panama …. and many more. It’s quite fascinating. The closest I could find to Hungary was Salzburg. But it was hotter than Hades and the ants were feeding on me so I was quickly losing the will to search.
Cementerio General de San José Costa Rica
Up a block on the other side of the street is the Cementerio General de San José (Calle 24 y 26 and Avenida 10). There are over 5200 vaults on the hectare of land including the graves of 22 former presidents. The statuary is quite spectacular – among the best of any I’ve seen. So much so that it’s knocked Zagreb off its No. 1 Cemetery pedestal – in my rankings at least.
Cementerio de Obreros de la Ciudad de San José Costa Rica
I had thought I was visiting Cementerio de Obreros de la Ciudad de San José (Calle 26, San Jose, Costa Rica) but it was actually the cemetery next door – the workers’ cemetery, far more utilitarian in its statuary. The box-shape crypts are quite different to anything else I’ve seen in the various cemeteries I’ve visited. And I’ve been to a few.
Cemeteries are easily accessible and there is a local bus that does the cemetery route as they’re all in the same neighbourhood.
Next time I’m in Costa Rica, I want to visit the cemetery on Cabuya Island.