One of the highlights of the annual Climate Festival in Atenas is the oxcart parade.
Excerpt from History of the Costa Rican Oxcart:
The oxcart integrated Costa Rica into international commerce by becoming the main means of export transportation after 1840. The first shipment of coffee to London was transported from the coffee plantations to Costa Rica’s main ports by oxcart in 1843. Oxcarts transported coffee to Puntarenas on a small road between 1844 and 1846. After World War II, the oxcart became obsolete due to new inventions. It has been used since then as an ornamental object although some farmers still use it during the coffee harvest season to carry coffee to processing plants in rural areas. Painting oxcarts developed into a form of original Costa Rican art in the early 20th century. Cowherds decided to add life to oxcarts by hand-painting them with bright colors and geometrical figures. There are never two oxcarts painted the same. All of them contain changes in color tones and figures. This art has been passed from generation to generation up to the present time. The painted oxcart has become a Costa Rican symbol throughout the world and has promoted economic development through the production of handicrafts in the Costa Rican cities of Sarchí and Puriscal.