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  • Indigenous children in the city of Piedra Mesa, Costa Rica. (Photo: AFP/Archive)

    Indigenous children in the city of Piedra Mesa, Costa Rica. (Photo: AFP/Archive) | Photo: AFP

The country’s highest judicial authority granted the request of an indigenous citizen regarding his educational rights. 

The Constitutional Court Of Costa Rica ordered the Ministry of Education to guarantee the teaching of the specific culture and language in the schools within indigenous territories, judicial authorities confirmed Tuesday.

The order was made following an application to the Court, claiming a violation of the right to education.

A citizen from the community of Cabecar de Talamanca took made the complaint after realizing that none of the 12 educational centers in the area had instructores capable of teaching in the local Bribri language and with knowledge of the culture.

“Part of the right to education for all the indigenous minors of the country is the connection with their ethnic origins, customs and traditions that have maintained the indigenous communities to which they belong, generation after generation,” stated the constitutional ruling.

“The constitutional jurisprudence is reiterative, in the sense that this is part of the rights of the indigenous minors, and that educational centers assimilate specific local knowledge of one's culture (cosmology, political, social, economic organization, among others), in addition with the common plan of studies that each person needs to know,” added the statement.

The judges gave educational authorities a window of five days to determine which centers are included in the territories of Talamanca, and to take the appropriate measures to guarantee the teaching of indigenous culture.

Although indigenous people account for two percent of Costa Rica’s total populationthe Congress approved a constitutional reform on August 27 formalizing the multiethnic and pluricultural character of the country. 


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