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First Lady of Costa Rica
Signe Zeicate
since 8 May 2022
Inaugural holderPacífica Fernández Oreamuno
Formation8 May 1847

First Lady or First Gentleman of Costa Rica (Spanish: Primera dama o Primer caballero de Costa Rica) is the title of the wife or husband of the president of Costa Rica. Traditionally, the president's wife was colloquially known as la presidenta ("the president", with a feminine -a ending). The current term was first used under Federico Alberto Tinoco Granados.


The Office of First Lady of First Gentleman is allocated no official funding from the government budget of Costa Rica.[1] Instead, the office and officeholder relies on private donations to cover the expenses.[1] These funds support the first lady's causes and foundations, which traditionally focus on cultural, environmental, and social issues.[1] The office of Leila Rodríguez Stahl, the first lady 2002 to 2006, had a staff of approximately 60 at its largest.[1] However, many of those staffers worked pro bono or were employed temporarily from other government offices.[1]

First ladies and gentlemen of Costa Rica (1847–present)

Image First Lady or Gentleman Lifespan President Years in position Notes
Pacífica Fernández Oreamuno 1828–1885 José María Castro Madriz 1847–1849 José María Castro Madriz was the first President of Costa Rica, making Pacífica Fernández the inaugural First Lady.
Felipa Montes de Oca Gamero 1814-1882 Miguel Mora Porras 1849
Inés Aguilar Cueto 1830-1895 Juan Rafael Mora Porras 1849–1859
Sofía Matilde Joy Redman 1823–1908 José María Montealegre Fernández 1859–1863 Born in the United Kingdom
Esmeralda Oreamuno Gutiérrez 1834-1873 Jesús Jiménez Zamora 1863–1866
Pacífica Fernández Oreamuno 1828–1885 José María Castro Madriz 1866–1868
Esmeralda Oreamuno Gutiérrez 1834-1873 Jesús Jiménez Zamora 1868–1870
Gerónima Montealegre Fernández 1823–1892 Bruno Carranza Ramírez 1870
Emilia Solórzano Alfaro 1835–1882 Tomás Guardia Gutiérrez 1870–1876
Isaura Carazo Peralta 1838-1905 Aniceto Esquivel Sáenz 1876
Guadalupe Gutiérrez García 1828-1886 Vicente Herrera Zeledón 1876–1877
Emilia Solórzano Alfaro 1835–1914 Tomás Guardia Gutiérrez 1877–1882
Angélica Guardia Solórzano 1858-1938 Saturnino Lizano Gutiérrez 1882
Cristina Guardia Gutiérrez 1842-1907 Próspero Fernández Oreamuno 1882–1885
Pacífica Fernández Guardia 1864-1919 Bernardo Soto Alfaro 1885–1890
Luisa Alvarado Carrillo 1853-1943 José Rodríguez Zeledón 1890–1894
Manuela Rodríguez Alvarado 1872-1953 Rafael Yglesias Castro 1894–1902
Adela Salazar Guardia 1869-1907 Ascensión Esquivel Ibarra 1902–1906
Adela Herrán Bonilla 1861-1932 Cleto González Víquez 1906–1910
Vacant since President Oreamuno was unmarried Ricardo Jiménez Oreamuno 1910–1914
Vacant since President González was unmarried Alfredo González Flores 1914–1917
María Fernández Le Cappellain 1877–1961 Federico Tinoco Granados 1917–1919
Clementina Quirós Quirós 1875-1965 Juan Bautista Quirós Segura 1919
Natalia Morúa Ortíz Francisco Aguilar Barquero 1919–1920
Elena Gallegos Rosales 1882–1954 Julio Acosta García 1920–1924 Born in El Salvador
Vacant since President Oreamuno was unmarried Ricardo Jiménez Oreamuno 1924–1928
Adela Herrán Bonilla 1861-1932 Cleto González Víquez 1928–1932 Died in 1932 while President González was still in office
Beatriz Zamora López 1871–1933 Ricardo Jiménez Oreamuno 1932–1933 Beatriz Zamora López died in office in 1933. There was no First Lady until 1936
María Eugenia Calvo Badia 1914-1983 1936 Second wife of President Oreamuno
Julia Fernández Rodríguez 1882-1957 León Cortés Castro 1936–1940
Yvonne Clays Spoelders 1906–1994 Rafael Ángel Calderón Guardia 1940–1944 Born in Belgium. First woman to serve as a Costa Rican diplomat.
Etelvina Ramírez Montiel 1901-1976 Teodoro Picado Michalski 1944–1948
Henrietta Boggs 1918–2020 José Figueres Ferrer 1948–1949 Born in the United States. Boggs and Figueres divorced on January 1, 1954[2]
Vacant since President Ulate was unmarried Otilio Ulate Blanco 1949–1953 President Ulate never married, though he was in a long-term relationship with Haydée Rojas Smith for many years.
Karen Olsen Beck 1933– José Figueres Ferrer 1954–1958 Born in Denmark. Olsen married President Figueres in office on February 7, 1954, becoming First Lady.[2]
Olga De Benedictis Antonelli 1916-2001 Mario Echandi Jiménez 1958–1962 Daughter of Italian parents
Marita Camacho Quirós 1911– Francisco José Orlich Bolmarcich 1962–1966 Became a supercentenarian in 2021.
Clara Fonseca Guardia 1916-2002 José Joaquín Trejos Fernández 1966–1970
Karen Olsen Beck 1933– José Figueres Ferrer 1970–1974 Born in Denmark
Marjorie Elliott Sypher 1925–2015 Daniel Oduber Quirós 1974–1978 Born in Canada
Estrella Zeledón Lizano 1929–2019 Rodrigo Carazo Odio 1978–1982
Doris Yankelewitz Berger 1934–2016 Luis Alberto Monge Álvarez 1982–1986 Costa Rica's first Jewish First Lady[3]
Margarita Penón Góngora 1948– Óscar Arias Sánchez 1986–1990
Gloria Bejarano Almada 1952– Rafael Ángel Calderón Fournier 1990–1994 Born in Mexico
Josette Altmann Borbón 1958– José María Figueres Olsen 1994–1998
Lorena Clare Facio 1943– Miguel Ángel Rodríguez Echeverría 1998–2002
Leila Rodríguez Stahl 1942– Abel Pacheco de la Espriella 2002–2006 Rodriguez won the Miss Costa Rica pageant in 1960[1]
Vacant since President Arias was divorced at the time Óscar Arias 2006–2010
José María Rico 1934–2019 Laura Chinchilla Miranda 2010–2014 Born in Spain. 1st First Gentleman of Costa Rica
Mercedes Peñas Domingo 1968– Luis Guillermo Solís Rivera 2014–2018 Born in Spain. [4]
Claudia Dobles Camargo 1980– Carlos Alvarado Quesada 2018–2022
Signe Zeicate Rodrigo Chaves Robles 2022–2026 Born in Latvia


  1. ^ a b c d e f Lopez G., Mauricio (2003-12-01). "Primera Dama de la República: Leila Rodríguez, servidora a tiempo completo". La Nación (San José). Retrieved 2016-07-29.
  2. ^ a b "American Girl and Costa Rican President Wed". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. 1954-02-08. Retrieved 2016-07-23.
  3. ^ "Costa Rica Will Have a Jewish First Lady with the Inauguration of Luis Alberto Monge to the President". Jewish Telegraph Agency. 1982-04-20. Retrieved 2016-06-13.
  4. ^ "Meet Costa Rica's future First Lady, Mercedes Peñas Domingo". Inside Costa Rica. 2014-04-15. Retrieved 2016-06-14.