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Bullfighting in Costa Rica

The so called “bullfights” of Costa Rica come with a big difference: There is no fighting! That is to say, the bull does not get hurts, the somewhat foolish humans who day confront these huge guys however do get hurt by the dozen, but it never seems to stop them and there are always too many volunteers! Toros a la Tica, as it is commonly called here, is very popular in all sorts of Fiesta, especially in Guanacaste, where most little towns and villages come complete with their Plaza del Toro.

To get into the ring, you must first sign up and wait for your turn. Once you are in, you are face to face with a choleric giant, a pure mass of muscle that has been trained to knock you down. Being knocked down by a huge champion bull should by no means be a pleasant experience, but to some young men or women, it seems to be the highlight of their day! Depending on the size of the ring, there can be up to hundreds of people inside at the same time. What you are supposed to do? Well, to avoid being stabbed by the bull’s stalk and stomp!

What makes this “sport” so amusing, for the spectator, is that the participants have absolutely no idea of what they should exactly be doing! They run aimlessly, many scarred for their lives, chased by a couple of tons of live stock! The adrenaline rush they feel is written all over their faces, and it is hard to understand why they ever want to go back in there again! The sheer terror on their faces is absolutely hilarious and priceless! Yet they do, over and over, they run, jump over the fence of the ring, and go back in, smacking the stump of the bull so that they can have another go, and on and on it goes, at the sound of the comical commentaries of the announcers. They keep going back, sometimes some do end up in the hospital, but this is part of the game, it is supposed to happen!

If you want see, and participate, in the best bullfight of the country, you will need to go to Zapote, if you happen to be here around Christmas time. This large ring welcomes hundreds of brave victims who risk their clothes being ripped or worse! How to be made fun of in style!

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Written by Mireille

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