Alajuela, Costa Rica
Ciudad de los Mangos(Spanish)
"City of Mangoes"
Pro Patria Nostra -- Sanguis Noster(Latin)
"For our country, our blood"
Alajuela and surrounding area
|o Syndic||Francisco Salazar Sánchez|
|o Total||8.88 km2 (3.43 sq mi)|
|Elevation||952 m (3,123 ft)|
|o Density||4,800/km2 (13,000/sq mi)|
Alajuela (Spanish pronunciation: [ala'xwela]) is a district in the Alajuela canton of the Alajuela Province of Costa Rica, known as "The Capital of the World" by the locals. As the seat of the Municipality of Alajuela canton, it is awarded the status of city. In virtue of being the city of the first canton of the province, it is also the capital of the Province of Alajuela. 
Because of its location in the Costa Rican Central Valley, Alajuela is nowadays part of the conurbation of the Greater Metropolitan Area. The city is the birthplace of Juan Santamaría, the national hero of Costa Rica and the figure who gives the name to the country's main international airport, which is south of Alajuela downtown.
The climate is tropical, typical of the Central Valley, but slightly warmer than San José. Temperatures are moderate, averaging 23-26 degrees Celsius with a low humidity level, with dewpoints around 20 almost all year round. Alajuela and its surroundings are famed for having "the best weather in the world".
In pre-Columbian times the land where the canton of Alajuela is today was part of the Western Huetar Kingdom, which was inhabited by native tribes, who at the time of the Spanish conquest were led by Chief Garabito.
The first Spanish settlers established settlements in the region in about 1650. In a letter of obligation granted in 1864, the place is mentioned as La Lajuela in the Valley of Barva, near the Canoas river.
In 1777, the dwellers of La Lajuela and Ciruelas, having been served with notice to move to Villa Vieja (today's Heredia), requested the provisional construction of a public place of prayer in the house of Don Dionysius Oconitrillo, of Spanish origin, 30 metres north of where Alajuela's cathedral is today.
After increases of population in the five existing quarters then: Targuaz, Puás, Ciruelas, La Lajuela and Rio Grande, the citizens faced difficulties to maintain their religious obligations, so they requested permission to establish a parish and a public place of prayer from the Bishop of Nicaragua and Costa Rica, Monsignor don Esteban Lorenzo de Tristán.
According to a motion issued in the Spanish Parliament of Cádiz on 19 May 1812, the first town hall of Alajuela was founded in 1813. On December 18 of the same year, the La Lajuela quarter obtained the title of town and it was renamed. It was first called "Villa Hermosa", then it was called "San Juan Nepomuceno de Alajuela" and finally the title of city was granted on 20 November 1824 and with it the name "Alajuela" which remains today.
Participation in important historical events by citizens of Alajuela has ensured the city's reputation as a storied place in Costa Rican history. The national hero Juan Santamaría, who died during the campaign in 1856 to remove invaders threatening Costa Rica's sovereignty, was born in Alajuela. This historical event is celebrated and remembered every year on 11 April and it is a national holiday.
The main exports of the region are coffee, sugar-cane, maize, beans, tobacco, citrus fruits, strawberries, tubers like cassava, flowers and ornamental plants. Other commercial activities include poultry farming, beekeeping, pig farming and the dairy industry. More recently, Alajuela has seen important investment in free zone parks and heavy industry companies.
Alajuela is an important transport hub for the country, connecting the capital city of San José with northwestern Costa Rica. As a part of the Greater Metropolitan Area, most of the inhabitants of Alajuela work in other cities or regions of the Central Valley, and every day receives residents from other locations to work in local factories. Central America's second busiest airport, Juan Santamaría International Airport, is three kilometers south of the district center.
The district is covered by the following road routes:
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