Costa Rica: Presidential Election Photo Essay

The Costa Rican photography collective “Nomada Colectivo” (Nomad Collective) recently devoted a photo-essay [es] to the recent presidential election that took place on February 7, 2010 in which Laura Chinchilla was elected as the first woman president. Members of the collective took to the streets to capture the scene from election day.

Photo by Nomad Collective and used with permission.

Photo by Nomad Collective and used with permission.

Jenny Cascante, a member of the Collective, writes about the day in the essay portion of the work [es]:

Cada cuatro años, a los ciudadanos comunes se nos concede la oportunidad de decidir lo que mejor nos conviene. La fiesta cívica funciona bien como placebo: no existe tal cosa como una buena decisión tomada colectivamente. Los comicios están diseñados para hacer cumplir la voluntad de una mayoría que no nos representa a todos, pero sí a los mismos de siempre. Atravesamos voluntariamente el vía crucis del interés mal logrado, los debates circenses, abstencionismo vrs tradicionalismo… es como un juego de niños coaccionado.


La democracia es una crayola anaranjada con la que todos queremos pintarnos, pero que a la vez regalamos a cambio de lo que sea. Al final sí hay marionetas: nosotros mismos.

Every four years, regular citizens are given the opportunity to decide what is best for us. The civic party works well as a placebo: there is not such a thing than a good collective decision. The elections are designed to enforce the will of the majority that does not represent us all, but to the usual suspects. We voluntarily go through this terrible ordeal of interests badly obtained, the circus-like debates, abstentions vs. traditionalism, it is like coerced child's play.


Democracy is like an orange-colored crayon with which we all would like to color, but at the same time we hand over change to whomever. In the end, there are puppets: us.

Photo by Nomad Collective and used with permission.

Photo by Nomad Collective and used with permission.


  • I find democracy in a lot of these countries to be just an act. It doesn’t seem like it exists, but maybe I’m wrong.

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