National Geographic : 1981 Jul
Protest from afar: Salvadorans living in Costa Rica march in San Jose to denounce repressionin their war-torn homeland. Costa Rica has long opened its arms to refugees from totalitarianLatin American states, whether of the left or right. The personificationof Costa Rica's ideals, Jose "Don Pepe" Figueres Ferrer(right), here at his lumber mill, was a 42-year-oldfarmer-philosopher in 1948, when he led the country's last revolution. With an army of 600 university students and intellectuals,he toppled a government that had refused to step asidefor its democratically elected successor. As leaderof the revolutionaryjunta, Don Pepe had the constitutionrevised to outlaw any standing army-includinghis own-and then returnedthe reins of power to the actual winner of the '48 election. Costa Ricans rewardedhim later with two terms as president. Today's PresidentRodrigo Carazo Odio (below left) displays the easy informality that characterizesmost politiciansin this model republic. 41,.: .*** >., «-..