Manuel María de Peralta y Alfaro

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Portrait of Manuel María de Peralta y Alfaro (1885)

Manuel María de Peralta y Alfaro (July 4, 1847 – August 1, 1930) was a Costa Rican politician. Born in Taras, Cartago, Costa Rica, on July 4, 1847. Unique Costa Rica declared twice Hero of the Motherland. His parents were Bernardino de Peralta and Alvarado and Ana de Jesus Alfaro Lobo. Paternal grandson of José María de Peralta and La Vega, President of the Governing Board of Costa Rica in 1822, signed the Declaration of Independence and Benefactor of the Fatherland. Married in 1884 to the Belgian countess of Soer Clérembault Jehanne de (1845-1919), Dowager Marchioness Gontaut Biron, and cousin Ferdinand de Lesseps .

Personal data


Made his first studies in Carthage and graduated Bachelor of Philosophy in the School of Humanities of Jesus. subsequently entered a career in law at the University of Santo Tomas. In Europe also studied International Law and other disciplines. Also acquired fluent French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Greek and Latin.

Diplomatic career[edit]

Immigration agent was Costa Rica in Geneva (Switzerland). Costa Rica joined the diplomatic service in November 1871, as Secretary of the Legation of Costa Rica in France. He was Minister Resident of Costa Rica in the United States (1875-1885) and Minister Plenipotentiary of Costa Rica in Germany (1887-1918), Belgium (1880-1883 and 1887-1930), France (1879-1883 and 1887 - 1930), Spain (1880-1883 and 1887-1930), the United States (1885-1887), the United Kingdom (1887-1898), the Netherlands (1910-1930) and the Holy See (1902-1930 ), and delegate from Costa Rica in the League of Nations (1921-1927). He was also Financial Agent of Costa Rica in the United Kingdom and Minister Plenipotentiary of El Salvador in the United States in 1886.

It fell defending the rights' land of Costa Rica at the arbitration dispute with Colombia, first to the Crown of Spain and then to the Presidents of France Félix Faure Emil Loubet. He received high honors from many countries, including the Legion of Honor of France. On 4 July 1997, upon completion of the sesquicentennial of his birth, the Government of Costa Rica presented posthumously awarded the rank of Ambassador Emeritus.

Activities as a historian and academian[edit]

He wrote several important historical works and collections rich documentaries published. His major works include The Republic of Costa Rica, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Panama in the sixteenth century, Costa Rica and Colombia from 1573 to 1581, its jurisdiction and territorial limits of the Panama Canal Nicaragua and Costa Rica in 1620 and 1887 Limits of Costa Rica and Colombia; History of the territorial jurisdiction of the Republic of Costa Rica, Costa Rica, the Mosquito Coast, Historical Atlas of the Republic of Costa Rica, and Veragua Mosquito Coast, territorial jurisdiction of the Republic of Costa Rica, El General Morazan and several poems and essays. He belonged to numerous academies and research companies and had close friendships with distinguished writers and intellectuals, including Juan Montalvo, Emilia Pardo Bazán and Rubén Darío .

Marquess of Peralta[edit]

In 1883 sought and obtained the transfer in favor of the Marquis de Peralta, Holy Roman title granted in 1738 by Emperor Charles VI to his uncle's great great grandfather Juan Tomás de Peralta y Franco de Medina . It was the second and last owner of that noble dignity.


He was declared a Hero of the Nation by the Congress of Costa Rica in 1919 and 1927 .


He died in Paris, France, on 1 August 1930 . His remains were brought to Costa Rica and solemnly buried in the cemetery of San Jose . The Diplomatic Institute of the Foreign Ministry of Costa Rica and an avenue of the city of San Jose are named.

The Prize "Manuel Maria de Peralta"[edit]

The Prize "Manuel Maria de Peralta" is a recognition given by the Costa Rican Association of International Law "Philip C. Jessup" (ACODI) annually to a distinguished Costa Rican for their contributions to international law, the International Policy and Diplomacy.

The Prize has been awarded so far, in his fourteen editions to the following persons:

  • Mr. Fernando Volio Jimenez (qdDg)
  • Dr. Fabio Fournier Jimenez (qdDg)
  • Carlos José Gutiérrez Gutiérrez, (qdDg)
  • Lic. Elisabeth Odio Benito
  • Lic. Sonia Picado Sotela
  • Dr. Rodolfo Piza Escalante (qdDg)
  • Mr. Rodrigo Madrigal Nieto (qdDg)
  • Dr. Gonzalo J. Facio Segreda
  • Dr. Oscar Arias Sanchez
  • Mr. José Luis Quesada Molina
  • Manuel Ventura Robles
  • Dr. Bernd H. Niehaus Quesada
  • Edgar Ugalde Álvarez (es), Ambassador
  • Mr. Rodrigo Oreamuno White

The Prize is named in reference to Manuel Maria de Peralta y Alfaro and the Foreign Service Institute "Manuel Maria de Peralta" the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Worship of Costa Rica.