Were we not to mention and give a brief sketch of one of the most important charitable and Humanitarian Institutions, to be found in Costa Rica, we would not be fulfilling our purpose. And the world would possibly not be aware that within the boundaries of this peaceful country, there is an Institution that puts into practice their beliefs and ideas for the betterment, both physical and moral, of humanity.
Taking this into account, we will now give a short historical review of Freemasonry in Costa Rica. Freemasonry was first introduced into Costa Rica in the year 1865, when the Grand Orient of New Granada, Chartered Caridad Lodge No. 26, to work in San Jose. This was followed in 1867 by the establishment of Union Fraternal Lodge No. 16, under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Cuba.
In the year 1870 it appears that in addition to the above mentioned Lodges, there existed in Costa Rica two other Lodges. Esperanza and Fe Lodges. In 1871 a Supreme Council of Freemason was founded, from which these Lodges accepted New Charters. Between 1817 and 1875 Charters were granted to Carida No. 1, Esperanza No. 2, Fe No. 3, Union Fraternal No. 7, Progreso No. 9, Maravilla No. 12, Sincera Amistad No. 13, Desengaño No. 14, Concordia and Porvenir.
Early in 1875, owing to political conditions, the Grand Orient and its Lodges became dormant, until April 1883, when the Grand Orient was revived. In 1887 the Grand Orient and Supreme Council were transferred to Guatemala. In 1888 the Grand Orient of Central America (Guatemala), Chartered Regeneracion No. 6 in San Jose, then Union Fraternal No. 9 (Limon -1892), La Luz Lodge (San Jose -1897), Libertad Lodge No. 15 (San Jose -1898), Phoenix Lodge (Limon -1899). La Luz Lodge and Phoenix Lodge worked in English. On December 7, 1899, the Craft in Costa Rica, constituted its own ruling body, declaring the establishment of the Gran Lodge of Costa Rica, adopted a constitution, and elected and installed as first Grand Master, Bro. Arthur G. Gillot.
The original idea of founding of Freemasonry in Costa Rica, came from a trip made by Dr. Father Francisco Calvo to Peru., Where he met some priests who were Masons, and through the instigation of these priests he was initiated into the Order. On his return to Costa Rica, together with other Masons already residents, he established Lodge Caridad No. 26, which was granted a Charter on June 28,1865, by the Grand Orient of New Granada. Since its foundation until the present day, Freemasonry has numbered among its members many conspicuous personages of the country and priests of irreproachable character; among the latter may be mentioned the illustrious, charitable and much beloved Rev. Dr. Carlos M. Ulloa and Father Francisco Calvo, 33".
The Supreme Council of Central America, which is located in San Jose, Costa Rica, was founded on January 9, 1871, under a Charter granted by
the Supreme Council of New Granada, to the Ill. Bro. Rev. Dr. Francisco Calvo,33", dated November 27,1870, which empowered him to created
the Grand Orient and the Supreme Council of Central America, in the city of San Jose.
This Supreme Council was allowed to be taken temporally to the City of Guatemala, under the condition that it be returned seven years later.
[see document below]
San Jose de Costa Rica,
December the 6th 1899.
The under signed members of this Supreme Council of Central America, that had its Seat in the Republic, and which due to a disposition agreed
upon on the 6th day of July 1887, was removed temporarily to the Republic of Guatemala, beg to make known that in virtue of said agreement, the
Supreme Masonic Council should reside thereof only seven years, after which should once more be returned to Costa Rica, if there should not be
sufficient number in any of the Capitals of the other Central American Republics, to occupy the principal positions of said Council. But should it be the case that each of said Capitals has sufficient number of members holding the 33 Degree the Seat of Said Council would be in each of them during seven years by consecutive terms, or in those alone where the number of members should be complete.
The members of the first Supreme Council of Central America, were the following:
|Fr. Dr. Francisco Calvo
Luis D. Saenz
Dr. Andrés Sáenz
Dr. Lorenzo Montúfar
Dr. José María Castro
Leoncio de Vars
|Sovereign Grand Commander
Deputy Grand Commander
1st Grand Representative
2nd Grand Representative
Grand Secretary General
Minister of State
Grand Master or Ceremonies
This is but a short history of the beginning of Freemasonry in Costa Rica.