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Guadalupe Urbina (Costa Rica)

Media / Foto's - Video


The Costa Rican Guadalupe Urbina was born in the province of Guanacaste. From her early childhood, being the youngest of 10 children, she remembers her mother, Angelita Juárez, being her main source of inspiration. It was Angelita who introduced Guadalupe to traditional stories,songs and rythms that later in life became her basis for her professional career.  


After her mother died, at the age of 11, Guadalupe moved to San José to live with her sisters to continue and finish her studies of Musical Composition at the National University. At University her gift of word and music was awarded. For two years in a row, Guadalupe won the first prize at the ‘University Songfestival’.


From then on, Guadalupe became a world traveler. She represented her country’s musical tradition in many places, in Latin America as well as in Europe. She performed several times at the Latin American Festival organized by ‘Vredenburg’, Utrecht in Holland and in Belgium, she played at Cultural Meetings and events in El Salvador, Guatemala, Colombia, she attended the Vancouver Folk Festival in Canada and toured Europe for almost a decade.


Guadalupe’s songs find root in the life she experienced and remembers well of her early childhood in the province of Guanacaste in Costa Rica. As no other, she understands the hardships of agricultural life, remembering how hard her mother worked to take care of her children, her home and her land. It is therefore no surprise that Guadalupe can be found present in events that are about World Peace, Amnesty International, Women’s Liberation and  Human Rights. In 1988, she performed at the National Stadium in Costa Rica with Bruce Springsteen, Sting, Tracy Chapman, Peter Gabriel and Youssou N’Dour.


Guadalupe’s work has enriched over the years. Apart from her musical carreer, she is well known for her folk traditional research. In 1994 Guadalupe was given ‘The Gaviota of Ibero-America Prize’ and in 1995, she received “The America Prize” in Senegal, Africa given by Radio France International and performed again with Youssou N’Dour and Lokua Kanza.


Listening to Guadalupe’s voice is like being surrounded by a musical fantasy. She plays with her vocal chords, producing high and deep sounds that makes her audience feel the intensity of her feelings, even if they do not understand every single word.


The quality of Guadalupe Urbina’s words and the depth of her thoughts have opened doors to important stages in Europe and Latin America. While a world class singer, she is able to recognize herself in her own history as a Costa Rican, a MesoAmerican, and a Latin American.  This is why, for many, she represents the soul of Central America.

Her  repertoire is extremely wide and varied: original songs, anonymous songs and texts from the province of Guanacaste in the north of Costa Rica. In addition she has created sound tracks for theatre, children’s performances, documentary videos and staged musicals.

Guadalupe’s artistic career has enriched over the years. Today she is well known for her folk traditional research as well as a singer-song writer. But her songs and poetic prose are a philosophy of life, inherited from her mother and her native area Sardinal de Carrillo, in Guanacaste.