Known for it’s natural beauty and gracious people is a small country located in Central America. Located between the countries of Nicaragua and Panama, bordered by both the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea is a true gem, the Republic of Costa Rica. Located ten degrees north of the equator Costa Rica is in the tropics and even though it is a small country it has a very diverse landscape and a variety of weather as well.
One unusual aspect of Costa Rica is that the country has no army and instead of a national hero being a general it is a young barefoot campesino (farmer). Costa Rica prides on the idea that they have gained through evolution what other countries have tried to attain through revolution.
The first Spanish settlers arrived around the 1560’s and upon their arrival they were shocked that the indigenous people were resistant to forced labor and there was no wealth of minerals. in 1522 there were an estimated 300,000 natives and by 1801 there were only 8,000 due to intertribal conflicts, wars with the Spanish, illness from the Old World, intermarriage, and the sale of natives as slaves to other countries.
Because Costa Rica was such a poor, neglected piece of the Spanish Empire the poverty gave rise to a simple life, with strong individualism, and an equality among social classes that contributed to the beginnings of democracy in Costa Rica.
Costa Rica’s government is divided into three branches with a Supreme Election Tribunal in charge of elections which are held every four years. Costa Rica does have a large beauracy, the government produces electricity, runs the telephone service, the national banking system, builds houses, and distills liquor. About 14% of the population is employed by the government.
Today the population of Costa Rica is 3,710,558. The main agricultural resources are bananas, coffee, sugar, corn, rice, beans, potatoes, and timber. The main industries of Costa Rica are food processing, textiles and clothing, construction materials, fertilizer, and plastic products. The average Costa Rican’s annual income is only $2,719 compared to the U.S.’s $25,000. Minimum wage is just under $1 an hour. Spanish is the language of the country and 95% of the population is Roman Catholic. The Capital of Costa Rica is San Jose and the currency used in the country is Colones. The central valley is home to most of the countries people because the area tends to be cooler and more mild than the coast and the soils are rich.
Since most of the people in Costa Rica are of the Catholic religion most of the major Costa Rican holidays are related to the church. Easter or Holy week also called Semana Santa, is a huge holiday and if you are in Costa Rica during this holiday, the dates vary annually, you will most likely see...