Parties, piñatas and penguins: Independence Day, Central America style
By Sarah Brown and Stina Backer
Updated 1742 GMT (0142 HKT) September 13, 2013
Peaceful Costa Rica – "In Costa Rica we proudly celebrate our independence throughout September which we call 'the Homeland's Month'," said Pablo Avilés, who took this photo in 2012. "We are proud to be a country with no army, but we say that our army is our children in schools and high schools. I think this is one of the most beautiful moments, because you can see the kids reflecting the ethnic mix of Costa Rica," said the 41-year-old web developer from San José, Costa Rica.
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Red, white and blue – Independence Day celebrations in Costa Rica often feature parades of school children carrying flags and dressed in traditional Costa Rican clothing or other costumes. Bruce Thomson, 29, took this photo in 2006 when he was living in the country. "Celebrations often begin the night before with town gatherings and the lighting of home-made, patriotically decorated lanterns," said the World Bank economist.