May 9th, 2010
05:23 AM ET

Costa Rica inaugurates first female president

Costa Rica's first female president pledged to reach out to citizens and not favor special interest groups during her swearing-in ceremony.

Laura Chinchilla, 50, took the oath of office Saturday. She was elected in February with 47 percent of the vote.

Chinchilla replaces former Nobel laureate and her mentor Oscar Arias, who praised Costa Ricans for recognizing that a woman is capable of leading the country.

In her inaugural address, the new president vowed to move the country toward a more innovating, intelligent and entrepreneurial path.

Chinchilla, who will serve a four-year term, holds a master's degree in public administration from Georgetown University and served as vice president between 2006 and 2008.

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soundoff (47 Responses)
  1. Laura

    Is there a photo of the new president to complement the article?

    May 9, 2010 at 5:19 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Ivy

    Let it be Humanity... the best to you Mrs. President!
    Costa Rican vision since it became an Independent Nation in 1821 is based in the ideals of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity which defines the county's idiosyncrasy.
    It is the only country in the world without army. It was abolished more than 50 years ago. Does any other country would ever apply this? Was this an advanced vision?
    The gift any visitor, citizen, immigrant could have in Costa Rica is " Freedom" based in the everyday practice of what many nations envy: Democracy.
    Costa Rica does not qualify to range as a develop county but free speech and human rights are respected.
    We understand that we must do good and help the person next to us if it is in need. We don't make a difference of color skin or social status. It is simple.

    Everything has to be based in the law and the rest is a blessing from God!

    May 9, 2010 at 7:25 pm | Report abuse |
  3. CNNboy

    where's her picture? come on, you can give some terrorist front page headlines with his facebook picture plastered all over, but can't show the first female president of Costa Rica? do you even cover actual news anymore?

    May 9, 2010 at 7:33 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Samram

    Happy Mother's Day!!

    “We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature – trees, flowers, grass- grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence... We need silence to be able to touch souls.”
    ~Mother Teresa

    “If you can't feed a hundred people, then just feed one.”
    ~Mother Teresa

    “We cannot do great things on this Earth, only small things with great love.”
    ~Mother Teresa

    “Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten by everybody, I think that is a much greater hunger, a much greater poverty than the person who has nothing to eat.”
    ~Mother Teresa

    “Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God's kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile.”
    ~Mother Teresa

    May 9, 2010 at 7:54 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Dragonride

    To Elastic....What kind of comment was that? Costaricans pay for their own health care, it's called social security, next time think or at least do some research before saying something as stupid as that.

    May 9, 2010 at 9:01 pm | Report abuse |
  6. A Costarican Resident

    Costaricans are the most tolerant, truly liberal people I have ever known. And I have lived in 5 countries, traveled to 30. The fact that a people prize children and believe that abortion is not necessary does not make them backward. This icountry offers wonderful support for women going through unwanted pregnancies. Family support, community support, excellent adoption services , free birth control, and night school for teenage girls who have children . I have lived here for 4 years and have yet to herar of a coat hanger abortion.

    I once discussed this issue with a woman of very modest means. I asked her whether abortion should be made available in case of child deformity. She looked at me as if I was crazy. Here response was that the disabled are also children of God deserving to live and be loved. The goverment provides an additional pension for those having children who are disabled.

    I am not one to rant against the legalization of abortion but ... maybe the US could learn something here. It is crazy with all the contraceptive options, the thousand of couples spending ridiculous amount of money on fertility treatments , and a country of such wealth ... that so many abortions are performed there. It is sad really. I would bet that with the right support a large percentage of these woman would NOT choose to have an abortion. They would weather out the nine months and give the baby away or keep it.

    But this option is not readily available nor even encouraged. In the US this has become a black and white subject. There are no greys and alternatives that could at least reduce the number of abortions are not even discussed.

    May 9, 2010 at 9:35 pm | Report abuse |
  7. carmen rojas k


    May 9, 2010 at 11:47 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Colin Johnson

    This means my roommate might have a job when he gets back. I think is cool though.

    May 10, 2010 at 3:41 am | Report abuse |
  9. michael

    Awesome! I have been to playa grande and san jose and I'm thoroughly convinced that 20 more years of work and I will be living in Central America. The people accept you for who you are and not for what you wear or drive. The people in Latin America in general are modest and humble and will give you the food off of their plate. Have a good one and when you get a chance go and visit. You might just change your mind on retiring in the US.

    May 10, 2010 at 6:11 am | Report abuse |
  10. jersey born


    May 10, 2010 at 9:20 am | Report abuse |
  11. Lorraine

    I am from Costa Rica. Many women from the United States do not know that our country is Roman Catholic. Most women in my country are against killing babies. Unborn babies are human beings that have a right to live. Please try to respect our beliefs as I respect yours.

    May 10, 2010 at 9:02 pm | Report abuse |
  12. wfc

    pura vida....

    May 11, 2010 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
  13. Ròger


    May 11, 2010 at 11:05 pm | Report abuse |
  14. William

    The new Pres. has her hands full mainly because the
    legislative assembly of 57 seats is comprised of reps. from 8 different
    political parties. But can only wish her the best.

    May 13, 2010 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
  15. Cindy Fernandez

    I am extremly proud to be a Tica (Costa Rican). PURA VIDA !

    May 13, 2010 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
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