Global Americans and the Canadian Council for the Americas present “Two gringos with questions,” an interview series featuring political and cultural leaders from across the Americas. In the twelfth episode, Chris and Ken talk to President Luis Guillermo Solís, the 47th President of the Republic of Costa Rica.
President Solís was inaugurated into office on May 8, 2014, and served until his term ended in 2018. He is a member of Costa Rica’s center-left Citizens’ Action Party. Solís is a politician, diplomat and professor. From 1981 to 1987, President Solís was an associate professor at the University of Costa Rica. He was also a Fulbright visiting professor at the University of Michigan-Flint from 1983 to 1985. Solís worked in President Óscar Arias’ administration and eventually became director of the Center for Peace and Reconciliation.
From 1986 to 1990, Solís was the chief of staff for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs under Arias’ first term. In 2002, Solís became the National Liberation Party’s General Secretary, but resigned the following year over the party’s involvement in a bribery scandal. In 2009, Solís registered as a member of the Citizens’ Action Party. He became the party’s candidate for the 2014 presidential election.
Solís received his Bachelor’s degree in history at the University of Costa Rica in 1979 and master’s degree in Latin American studies at Tulane University. Currently, President Solís is a professor at the Kimberly Green Latin American and Caribbean Center of the Florida International University. He will serve as an OAS election observer for Guatemala’s June 16 presidential election.
President Solís talks to Chris and Ken about the rise of evangelicals in Costa Rica, China’s interest in the region and the situation in Nicaragua.