In the early morning hours of May 8, Costa Rica once again captured the world’s attention. We know that grit and determination can forge an innovative road to a new modern era! Costa Rica’s President elect blazes new trails through unprecedented measures. Building national unity and conquering government reform, the country is regional leader in renewable energy.
In an unprecedented display of solidarity and promise to the nation’s citizens, 38-year old Carlos (Carlito) Alvarado Quesada mounted the country’s first hydrogen-fueled public bus. The name of the bus is “Nyuti”—meaning “Star” in the native Chorotega indigenous language. It took him to the Plaza of Democracy where the presidential inauguration was to take place. The bus was escorted by teams of cheering cyclists in support of Alvarado.
Transportation is Key
His newly appointed Legislative Assembly President, Carolina Hidalgo, rode her bike to the ceremony in honor of the new government’s dedication to mark sustainable energy as the solution to the country’s ailing transportation crises.
The presidential inauguration ceremony was attended by 2,000 citizens and 108 international delegations, including seven presidents. In his first speech as president, Alvarado said he intends to improve employment, education and health, and fight poverty.
“Under the clear blue of our skies, there is room for all of us, and therefore the government of the bicentennial is plural,” he said during his inaugural speech. “An agreement for a national government is born and looks to sustain itself on dialogue, on the building of understanding, on good faith to respond in unity to the just aspirations of all citizens.”
Youngest President in History
As Costa Rica’s youngest president in modern history, Alvarado is focusing on the country’s financial crises, promising to improve management of public resources, tax collection, and tackle corruption through fiscal reform. He vows to reduce the deficit from nearly 7 percent GDP to less than 3 percent.
During his career as a journalist, writer, and political scientist, Alvarado spoke out in support of marriage and gender equality, building a green transport network, and spurring economic growth to fight regional and national insecurity.
All Parties Represented
As President, Alvarado promises to do just that. In an unprecedented act of breaking custom, Alvarado materialized his vision for unity by inviting members from the country’s five political parties to join his cabinet as Costa Rica’s first “national unity government.” On the ministerial level his 30-plus member cabinet has more women than men for the first time in national history, over 50 percent.
“We created a Cabinet with various sectors and political parties, with significant youth representation and the largest number of women in the history of the country,” Alvarado wrote on Twitter.
Epsy Campbell Bar
Epsy Campbell Barr is serving as the First Vice President-elect and Minister of Foreign Relations. She is the first Afro-Costa Rican to hold the position and the first black female vice president in the Americas. Campbell Barr is an economist who helped found the ruling Citizens’ Action Party in 2000. She has been an active player in Afro-Caribbean affairs, and in 1996 founded the Women’s Forum of Central American Integration.
Serving next to Campbell Barr is Second Vice President Marvin Rodriguez Cordero, Minister of the Presidency. His tasks include coordination with the Legislative Assembly. Rodríguez was Secretary General of the Costa Rican Education Workers Union. He has always championed educator’s rights.
With so much groundbreaking novelty, President Carlos Alvarado certainly has his work cut out for him. But with a landslide victory under his belt he has the support of Costa Rica’s majority, especially its younger generations, to back him up. “The youth have asked that I not fail them, and I will fight not to fail.”