Why does it occur? After losing the Battle of Santa Rosa on March 20th, 1856, the filibusters led by William Walker Walker went to the city of Rivas in Nicaragua. Their purpose was to take over the inn, which was a strategic point from where they intended to make a surprise attack on the Costa Rican army, and to take president Mora as prisoner.
What happened on April 11th, 1856? On April 11th, 1856 there was a second confrontation between the army of Costa Rica and the filibusters and fortunately the Costa Rican army stopped them to accomplishing their mission.
How? The Costa Rican army planned to burn the inn, and with the help of Juan Santamaría, a drummer from Alajuela, they succeeded and the filibusters finally left.
Once that battle ended, the Costa Rican soldiers returned home due to a ‘cholera’ epidemic that caused the death of many compatriots.
At the end of December of that same year, the Costa Rican army with the support of the British, took control of Río San Juan, and prevented the filibusters from receiving reinforcements. In May 1860, William Walker was shot dead in Trujillo, Honduras.
Costa Rica suffered important human and economic losses as a result to the Battles of Santa Rosa and Rivas. However, freedom, peace and sovereignty was defended with honor.
Sources: Dirección General del Archivo Nacional, Ministerio de Cultura y Juventud (s.f.). Batalla de Rivas 11 de abril de 1856. Recuperado de: http://www.archivonacional.go.cr/index.php/rincon-pedagogico/80-batalla-de-rivas- Molina, I. y S. Palmer (1961). Historia de Costa Rica: Breve, actualizada y con ilustraciones. Segunda Edición (2011). Editorial Costa Rica. San José, Costa Rica.