OXCART MUSEUM

 

PRESERVING A TRADITION FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS

History of how the Museum was created

Venecia was founded at the beginning of the twentieth century, with the participation of families that came from the Central Valley. These families with the help of the oxen and their oxcarts raised their new community.

These peasants were organized forming caravans with their oxcarts to go where it was required, bringing materials to build schools, bridges, aqueducts etc. as well as to transport the products to the neighboring communities and bring back the “goods” for the inhabitants.

Venecia is one of the places that has kept alive the practices of the oxcart driver. More than forty years ago, the oxcart drivers of Venice established the custom of parading with their oxen and their rustic carts, loaded with the products offered by this fertile land that surrounds the town. The drivers passed in front of the church to donate their cargo as a tribute to the patron saint of the community: Our Lady of Candelaria; a tradition that is preserved to this day.

February 2, annual Oxarct Parade

Since then and uninterrupted, on February 2nd,  the Oxcart Driver and his family put their best suit and with the Oxen and their Oxcarts prepared  proudly parade through the streets of Venecia.

Among other settlers who collaborated with the foundation of Venecia are Juan Felix Estrada, Don Wilfrido “Fido” Rodríguez and Don Juan Luis Mora Peralta, who imagined and fomented the creation of a space of convivial for the Oxcart driver’s community. Thus, was born the Association Pro-Museum of the Oxcart Driver and since its creation, its members have proposed to protect and revitalize activities related to the oxcart and its oxen through their Museum.

Juan Felix Estrada

Juan Felix Estrada, February 2, 2018

This unique living Museum seeks to integrate a space for the revitalization and safeguard of knowledge, abilities and skills of the Boyero (Oxcart driver). It will  a meeting place where the “Boyeros” can share and exchange experiences and learn from others in order to encourage future generations to appropriate this knowledge to strengthen and protecting our national identity.

Our Museum is a living museum because our visitors will have hands on to learn the practices of the Oxcard drivers and its oxen.  The visitor will be able to touch, interact the animals and the artifacts used by the Boyero. The visitor will learn a lot by riding on the Oxcarts driven by local Boyeros and also accompanied by a bilingual guide.

The museum is seeking to offer the local, national and international community a space for conservation, research, communication and exhibition of “products” associated with Oxcart Drivers’s cultural practices.

Of great importance for the Museum is that Venecia has been declared by the San Carlos Municipality as the cradle city of the veneration of the Oxcart.  The Museum has also been declared an institution of public interest.

With the inspiration of the UNESCO proclamation in the 2005 on the tradition of the ox and the oxcart in Costa Rica, as a masterpiece of the Oral and intangible Patrimony of humanity the association of boyeros has set up to accomplish several goals to safeguard this special tradition.

THE MUSEUM NEEDS YOUR HELP!

Future Goals

 The Museum is planning to build the following buildings:

The Skill Center of the Boyero

At the Skill Center of the Boyero the Museum will offer training sessions for the boyeros of all the national territory; Some of the topics to be discussed will be: how to raise, tame, care for and feed the oxen; the characteristics that these animals must have according to the agricultural activity in

which they participate around the country.

There will also be a module related to the sowing and cultivation of trees of native species, used in the manufacture of carts and yokes, in order to promote the preservation of the environment.

 The exhibition hall will be directed to the general public where there will be a space in which the visitors will be able to appreciate the interaction between the oxcart driver and the oxen and understand the process of how their beautiful relationship is established for a lifetime.

 In this hall, there will be a permanent and temporary exhibition of photography,painting or other forms of expression, related to the theme.

 Regional and national meetings of boyeros will take place to promote cultural traditions, music, and local traditional food.

El Sesteo Lodge in Venecia. 

The Albergue El Sesteo in Venecia will provide the Boyeros and their families with a space to spend the night during the festivities related to the boyeo On these occasions, various activities will be carried out that will allow the strengthening of relations between all the boyeros from different parts of the national territory. In addition, it will promote exchanges between cattle farmers and the general public.

 This lodge hopes to welcome students and volunteers that could come and learn and help at the Museum.

 A stable of 300 square meters to house the oxcarts and the oxen.

 A Kiosk for the sale of local typical food of the region.

 A percentage of each tour organized by Viajes Colibri will go directly to the Museum to help them meet its goals.

The Museum thanks any organization or individual that wishes to donate money !  Contact the association at gigalacasadelboyero@gmail.com if you want to take part of this important Museum!

“Thanks for not letting this piece of Costa Rica die which is present in each yoke, each oxcart and each Costa Rican farmer”.  (words by a local Boyero from Venecia)