In Heredia celebrating the big win!

We’ve been keeping ourselves busy here with new Costa Rican friends and countless excursions. Last weekend, we got to experience what many consider to be the epitome of Central American culture: fútbol.

Last Saturday, we woke up really early to make the trip to Guápiles to see Heredia’s team face Santos in the Costa Rican national championship game. The national fútbol championship here is equivalent to the Super Bowl in the U.S. So, needless to say, everyone from Heredia was extremely excited to see their team make it to the finals.

We went to the final with some of our new Costa Rican friends and a director of our program here. But it wasn’t like a game in the U.S. where you can show up a little bit before it starts and get a good seat — we actually had to get there eight hours early to get into the line!

An SMU student was interviewed by a Costa Rican news station before the game.

But all that waiting was well worth it when the game started. We learned all the fun chants with the Heredian fans, and after a nail-biting last five minutes, we saw Heredia beat Santos, 2-1.

After the game, we charged the field with everyone from the winning team, soaking in this magical moment of Costa Rican culture.

We then made the two-hour journey back to our hometown of Heredia, where the streets were filled with people sporting the team colors of red and yellow. The whole city seemed to be awake and excited, continuing the chants from the game and hugging everyone in site.

All in all, it was an awesome night to consider ourselves Heredians.

Sharing the excitement with our new Costa Rican friends