header Notes Collection

20000 Colones 2009, Costa Rica

in Krause book Number: 278
Years of issue: 02.09.2009
Edition: 18 417 368
Signatures: Presidente: Francisco de Paula Gutierrez, Gerente: Roy Gonzalez Rojas
Serie: 2009 Issue
Specimen of: 02.09.2009
Material: 100% raw cotton
Size (mm): 153 х 67
Printer: Francois-Charles Oberthur Fiduciaire SA, Colombes

* All pictures marked magnify are increased partially by magnifying glass, the remaining open in full size by clicking on the image.

** The word "Specimen" is present only on some of electronic pictures, in accordance with banknote images publication rules of appropriate banks.

20000 Colones 2009




Maria Isabel Carvajal and denomination 20000.


20000 Colones 2009

Maria Isabel Carvajal

The engraving on banknote is based after this photo of Carmen Lyra.

Maria Isabel Carvajal or Carmen Lyra (January 15, 1887 - May 13, 1949) was the pseudonym of the first prominent female Costa Rican writer, born Maria Isabel Carvajal. She was politically active in the Communist Party of Costa Rica, and was one of the earliest writers to criticize the dominance of the fruit companies.

Her first novel "En una silla de ruedas" ("In a Wheelchair"), in 1918, portrays national customs and manners through the eyes of a paralyzed boy who grows up to become an artist, with a strong dose of sentimentalism and intimations of the bohemian life of San Jose. A collection of folk tales "Cuentos De Mi Tia Panchita" ("Tales of My Aunt Panchita") was published in 1920 and has remained continuously in print, the entirety of this collection appears in English translation in Horan's "The Subversive Voice of Carmen Lyra".

Carmen Lyra was a notable educator, working first as a nurse, then as a journalist, co-founding the Centro Germinal for evening classes in 1910 and starting the first Montessori pre-school in Latin America in 1926.

She had a major role in organizing women schoolteachers to burn down the building that housed the official newspaper and to overthrow the dictatorship of Costa Rica's Tinoco brothers in 1916, after which she was given a scholarship to study abroad, at the Sorbonne, in France. She is credited with translating the Communist Manifesto into Spanish in 1920. As Costa Rican politics, under pressure from the United States, moved to the right, she and other leftists were dismissed from their teaching posts in 1933. She went on to take a leading role in the banana workers' strike of 1934, writing Bananos y Hombres (Bananas and Men) and touring Costa Rica with a radical puppet theater.

In 1948, she was forced into political exile in Mexico after the Costa Rican Civil War and died there. The Costa Rica Legislative Assembly awarded her the honour of Benemérita de la Cultura Nacional in 1976.

Cuentos De Mi Tia Panchita

On the background is the illustration from her book "Cuentos De Mi Tia Panchita" ("Tales of My Aunt Panchita").

At the top is hologram in form of the map of Costa Rica.

Denominations in numerals are in lower right and top left corners.


20000 Colones 2009

Neotropical Paramo ecosystem, with wet alpine meadows, uplands and ridges of the Andes in South America and many lakes.

Selasphorus flammula

Colibri Chispita (The Specie of Costa Rica).

The Volcano Hummingbird (Selasphorus flammula) is a very small hummingbird which breeds only in the mountains of Costa Rica and Chiriqui, Panama. This tiny endemic bird inhabits open brushy areas, paramo, and edges of elfin forest at altitudes from 1850 m. to the highest peaks. It is only 7.5 cm long. The male weighs 2.5 g. and the female 2.8 g. The black bill is short and straight.

Jatropha cordata

On the right and left sides are the tropical grass Jatropha cordata (papelio, sangrengado). Jatropha's habitat is Central America, includes 150 species.

In lower right corner are four rabbits.

Denomination in large numeral is in lower left corner.


The colón (named after Christopher Columbus, known as Cristóbal Colón in Spanish) is the currency of Costa Rica.