Next time you are traveling in Latin America, or practically any country nowadays for that matter, as you pass through some of the small towns or find yourself in the inner cities, take a good look up. Chances are you will see a pair or pairs of the famous “hanging shoes” drapped over the power lines high above you.
What do they mean? How do they get up there? Good questions that curious people have been asking for many years. Let’s explore some of the history and folklore behind the obiquitous “hanging shoes” and we’ll let you draw your own conclusions in the end.
Shoe tossing or "shoefiti" as it has come to be known in many International circles, is the worldwide phenomenon of throwing shoes whose laces have been tied together so that they hang from overhead power lines or telephone cables (and sometimes trees or other objects!).
In some neighborhoods, shoes tied together and hanging from these power lines signify
There are a number of more sinister explanations for this shoe tossing practice. Some
Naturally, only each individual “shoe-tosser” knows why his/her pair of shoes are hanging from the wires, but the practice has become a common one throughout Costa Rica and now just serves as another display of modern art or to many a form of environmental pollution, all depending on your own perspective or sense of humor!
Author: Kimberly Barron, originally from Malibu, California has lived in Parismina and Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica for 20 years. Starting as a certified tour guide, she spent 15 years managing fishing lodges on the Caribbean Coast and later 4* & 5* Hotels on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica. Currently semi-retired, Kimberly still works as the Marketing Director for Byblos Resort & Casino and Hotel Makanda by the Sea.