The Popular Culture Museum (Museo de Cultura Popular de la Universidad Nacional) is located in Santa Lucia of Barva, Heredia. Inaugurated in 1994, thanks to the academic activities in research and extension of the National University Social Sciences Faculty, specifically the History and Sociology School, whose purpose was to implement the Costa Rica Society-University link, which was based on the study of Costa Rican traditions and customs, conceptualized as culture components, in a dynamic way, with the potential to transform the past in light of the needs and challenges of the present.
The museum aims to benefit communities through individual carriers of cultural traditions, through the implementation of actions seeking the enhancement heritage and it’s responsible use, since their work is directed towards developing aspects of heritage such as dance, meals, daily tasks and festivals, among others. The school records for it’s study, preservation and revitalization those cultural practices related to a “lifestyle”, characteristic of the time, and that were significant in the construction of what built the “Costa Rican” imaginary (group of characteristics that define being Costa Rican).
The museums is equally interested in the cultural practices that were relevant and that changed by the incursion of new cultural forms. An example is the adobe-style architecture widespread during the second half of the nineteenth and prohibited by the Costa Rican Seismic Code from the 1910s, which was forced to extinction as a construction system.
In the early decades of the twentieth century, “lifestyles” of the masses were impacted by changes in the new century and business development. Many popular cultural practices lost interest and force, so it began a period of deterioration, neglect and extinction. These cultural practices are our heritage today and for that reason, the Popular Culture Museum (Popular Folk) has taken them as an object of study so that they are studied and preserved for the enjoyment of present and future generations. This is why the programs, projects and activities of the museum are aimed at different sectors, such as students, teachers, families, seniors, organized groups and tourism.
The museum is an adobe house in a 3000 mts2 area, representative of the traditional architecture of the Central Valley. It is a coffee house built between 1885-1887 by the parents of former President Alfredo González Flores. The furniture is older than it’s visitors and the museum also displays tools, costumes and musical instruments from ancient times. Restoration and refurbishment of the permanent exhibition was created through the collaboration of national and international agencies (National University, Ministry of Culture and Youth, ICOMOS of Costa Rica, and Germany Embassy) with the active participation of the traditional builders in the region. The ambient of its interior spaces and the reproduction of their natural environment has created the eco-cultural framework from which the museums’ proposal is constructed.
The Popular Culture Museum also holds workshops on traditional cuisine (tortillas, prestiños and roasted oven bread), development of traditional toys (dolls embroidery and kites) and environmental education. The museum also has a multipurpose hall, restaurant, landscaping and parking area.
Address: from the Auto Mercado in Heredia 700 meters north, 450 meters east, 50 meters north and 100 meters west, district: Santa Lucía, canton: Barva, province: Heredia, Costa Rica. Zone postal code: 40205.
GPS coordinates: 10.013331,-84.116653 (10°00’47.99″N, 84°06’59.95″)
Schedule: from Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Phone: + (506) 2277-3857 / 2260-1619