Here is part of the work we did for the Museo de Guanacaste
We translated the Museum’s history page so English-speaking visitors can learn about its history:
Museo de Guanacaste
History and Characteristics:
Liberia has long been a strategic military and political center. Therefore, a decree was created to construct El Cuartel de Liberia (Comandancia de Plaza) in 1868 as a barracks. But since 1920, local authorities have complained of severe deterioration of the building.
The new building was built during the administration of Ricardo Jiminez (1932-1936) and was finished during the Leon C. Cortes administration (1936-1940).
El Cuartel de Liberia (Comandancia de Plaza) was designed by architect Jose Maria Barrantes, who was responsible for many public infrastructure projects during this period. The construction was directed by engineer Max Effinger.
The building, when it was used as a fort, had many purposes, including hosting the governor on his visits and guarding an important arsenal. The building at one point also served as a prison facility.
The headquarters has a box-shaped construction and was designed by a military architect. His style is eclectic for its mix of influences–it highlights art decor details such as the robustness of steel reinforced concrete, geometric forms, and the lack of eaves. The style of architecture was well-liked in the 30s or 40s for its durability, elegance, and austerity.
As the Museo of Guanacaste, the Cuartel continues to reinforce the ideals of Costa Rican civility, where after the abolition of the army, the barracks became a museum.
Restoration and Rehabilitation:
Once rehabilitated, the new building will include four major components:
The extracting and documentation of information is an imperative technical process in order to know about the “life history” of the building as it includes original colors and finishes of the walls. The architects working to restore the building also feel it is important to interview former employees and inmates of the Cuartel.
Technological advances allows Museo de Guanacaste to produce a complete collection of renovation plans, as opposed to the limited plans from the time of architect Barrantes.
Because the building has been weathered, many architectural teams have studied the current condition, attempting to use the most innovative methods to restore the building while maintaining the integrity of the infrastructure and architecture.
The transformation of the barracks to a museum seeks to highlight the artistic history of the building. The transformation has benefited from the advice and permission of various agencies. Once completed, the museum will contain exhibition halls, a cafe, information kiosks, craft shops, and a large auditorium. The various components will respect the original architecture of the building.
Representative of a Province and Achievements to Build:
Museo de Guanacaste was created by Law 8543, which grants the seat in the headquarters of Liberia and guardianship for Association Administrator. The objectives of the museum are conservation and museum-seeking enhancement of the various manifestations of cultural and natural heritage of Guanacaste, promoting the participation of various sectors of the province. The principles of excellence and sustainability will help to create a quality and authentic museum.
Actually, facilities are open and diverse artistic expressions of Guanacaste culture and work in the organization and administration of the project. Both restoration of the building and its opening to public services is necessary to encourage individuals and organizations interested in participating with the management of the assets of Guanacaste.
El Cuartel de Liberia (Liberia Barracks) is a cultural symbol of Guanacaste. The building has witnessed many political, social, and military events and now functions as a museum. Architects hope the restoration of the museum functions as a new Guanacaste identity, focusing on conservation and education.
They also ased us to write a little intro of ourselves and the museum.
¡Hola! Welcome to Museo de Guanacaste! We are a group of nine students from Wilkes University, accompanied by our professor Dr. Andrew Miller, traveling from the United States to Liberia. Wilkes University is a small liberal arts college in Northeastern Pennsylvania that values cultural diversity and community service, both domestic and abroad. As a part of our class on Ecotourism Development in Costa Rica, and also in association with Raising Awareness Worldwide (R.A.W. Tours), we volunteered at the museum to help expand publicity and attract tourists.
Kattya Lomel, our in-country coordinator from R.A.W Tours. introduced us to the museum. We began with a tour of the museum in order to gain an understanding of the building’s rich history, along with the current state of and future goals for renovation of the building. In 1868, the building served as a military barrack and was home to high-ranking political officials. It was later used as a prison facility. Museo de Guanacaste now serves to provide the community with a sense of pride in their history by preserving the integrity and architecture of the building, while providing a place for local exhibitions and events.
During our time spent at Museo de Guanacaste, we translated brochures and established a Facebook and WikiPedia page online to attract tourists and locals alike. Our efforts were made to broaden advertisement for the museum. We felt it was important to provide travelers with the intriguing history and durable, yet elegant architectural design of Museo de Guanacaste. A hidden treasure in the community, Museo de Guanacaste plans to renovate the building while keeping the integrity of the architecture. Kattia Ramirez, a municipal architect for Liberia, has a vision to integrate exhibition halls, a cafe, information kiosks, craft shops, and a large auditorium to Museo de Guanacaste.
We were privileged and excited to help Museo de Guanacaste expand their advertising. Wilkes University hopes to be a part of future endeavors in partnership with the museum.
Dr. Andrew Miller, Associate Professor of Political Science
Kattya Lomel, R.A.W Tours
Kattia Ramirez, Municipal Architect for Liberia