Since the mid-nineteenth century, ox carts were used to transport coffee beans from the central valley of Costa Rica, in the mountains, to Puntarenas, on the Pacific coast, a trip required 10 to 15 days.
In many cases, ox carts were the only means of transportation for a family and symbolized their social status.
The Costa Rican cart is not just a typical cart, in fact, it is the most famous handicraft in the country and a UNESCO masterpiece of the oral and intangible heritage of humanity, they are a pride for the Ticos and are often painted with colorful designs. intricate, turning them into works of art.
The tradition of painting and decorating carts began in the early twentieth century. Originally, each region of Costa Rica had its own design, which allowed identifying the origin of the cowherd for the reasons painted on the wheels. In the early twentieth century, flowers, faces and miniature landscapes began to appear next to the motifs that represented pointed stars. Annual competitions were organized to reward the most creative artists, a custom that still exists today, being the only Costa Rican cultural manifestation and one of the few that Central America has that enjoys recognition and designation as a world heritage.
In most regions of Costa Rica, trucks and trains have replaced wagons as the main means of transportation, but these are still strong symbols of the country’s rural past, and still occupy an important place in parades and celebrations religious.