Alvarado swept to victory in April in a controversial election against conservative Protestant singer Fabricio Alvarado Munoz. The election had exposed divisions in the Central American tourist destination known for laid-back beach culture and pristine rainforests, but where some rural communities remain socially conservative.
In attendance at the inauguration was Bolivia’s Evo Morales, Guatemala’s Jimmy Morales and Panama’s Juan Carlos Varela. At 39, Alvarado is the country’s youngest president in modern history. He has spoken out in support of marriage equality, building a green transport network for the nation and for spurring economic growth to fight against insecurity.
Although Costa Rica is one of the region’s most stable economies, the Central American nation is struggling to get its deficit under control amidst a Fitch downgrade and to combat a wave of record crime that has hit the country.