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History Early history points to the influence of very early indegenous cultures who occupied the land of Costa Rica nearly 10,000 years ago. Newly discovered relics include a sophisticated aqueduct system and shows signs of Olmec and Nahuatl inhabiting the region. Columbus first found the land of Costa Rica in September of 1502 The region of Costa Rica was inhabited by four main tribes when Columbus arrived, however the Spanish had little interest in the region as it was hard to live in the conditions and they were more interested in the gold in other regions. Juan Vazquez de Coronado founded the first successful city in Costa Rica, Cartoga. However this didn’t happen until 1562. Citizens of Costa Rica eventually rebelled and sought their independence along with many other countries in Latin America. Source: http://www.writeonnewjersey.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/Christopher-Columbus.jpg
History Tomas Guardia established a military rule in Costa Rica. Unlike other countries in Latin America Guardia followed through with many social reforms, particularly in education. In 1948 Costa Rica fought in a Civil War between two political parties. Jose Maria FigueresFerrer became president after the civil war where here established social reformers, expanded suffrage, and nationalized business sectors of the country. After President Oscar Arias Sanchez (Right) helped end the civil war in Nicaragua, he collected signatures from five Central American presidents for a peace treaty. He was awarded a Nobel Peace price for his actions. Source: http://www.scu.edu/ethics/architects-of-peace/Sanchez/resources/portrait_hr.jpg
The People 90% of Costa Ricans are of mixed indigenous and European origin. A small percentage of Costa Ricans are of African origin, many of them came as slaves or from Jamaica to work on the railroads. Costa Rica does have a small native population, however like other Latin American countries the group is a minority as many have died from disease and war with the Spanish. Ticos and Ticas are the Costa Rican equivalent to male and female, and is often used to describe a native Costa Rican.
The People Costa Rican’s are highly educated, the country overall has a 93% literacy rate. Most of the Costa Ricans are classified as middle class, poverty dose exist but in small numbers The people of Costa Rica have began to cater to tourists as ecotourism has become popular over the years. 77% of Costa Ricans classify themselves as Catholic however religion does not play a tremendous role in Costa Rican life. Costa Ricans are generally described as kind and full of spirit which stems from their cultural upbringing.
Culture Music: Like much of Latin America many Costa Ricans are familiar with music from other parts of Latin America and the United States. Rock is particularly popular among the younger crowds and the Caribbean side of Costa Rica has taken kindly to Calypso music which is similar to reggae. Dance: Though there is no traditional dance many Costa Ricans participate in dances such as the salsa and soca. On weekends dance clubs are extremely popular among the locals and often are very crowded. Sports: Like many Latin American nations Soccer is one of the most popular sports among Costa Ricans. They have participated in three World Championships. Bull rings (right) can be found throughout Costa Rica which often bring a decent crowd to watch.
Culture Art: Costa Rica in general lacks in producing great artists. The country does enjoy and support those who aspire in the fields of literature and theatre however they are minimal. Despite Costa Ricans lack for art many artists from across the globe gone to Costa Rica to find influence. Crafts are also a hobby for many especially because of the growing tourist industry. Food and Drink: Typical food of Costa Rica includes chicken, beef, and seafood. Rice and beans are also generally included with every meal. For a drink the typical Costa Rica beers include Imperial and Bavaria. Other: An interesting cultural event in the horse parade which is found in a verity of small cities. The horse parade is a lasting tradition since the Spanish introduced cattle and horses.
Geography and Biodiversity The entire area of Costa Rica is approximately 20,000 square miles, the longest stretch being 200 miles. The Country is located in Central America in between Panama and Nicaragua. Most of the seasons are rainy, hence why a majority of the country is covered by rainforests. Because of the large amounts of rain the rivers often cause problems of flooding The Cocos and Caribbean plate run through Costa Rica and can often cause earthquakes and also contributes to volcanoes in the region, such as volcano Arenal featured in the background. Overall the country currently has seven active volcanoes.
Geographyand Biodiversity “Costa Rica is considered one of the 20 countries with the greatest biodiversity in the world.” (inbio) Costa Rica contains approximately 500,000 different species and 300,000 different insects which is just about 4% of the species worldwide. Because of the growing amount of ecotourism the government has made it a priority to preserve the forests across the country, nearly 25% of the country has been put under some type of preservation. The country has been split into 11 different protected areas and the country has also established a National Park system in order to protect the biodiversity.
Sources Note: All Images are my own unless otherwise noted. Geography and Biodiversity: http://www.infocostarica.com/nature/geography.html http://www.inbio.ac.cr/en/biod/bio_biodiver.htm Culture: http://www.tourism.co.cr/costa-rica-art-and-culture/costa-rica-cultural-heritage/costa-rica-culture.html http://www.costarica.com/culture/ http://www.infocostarica.com/culture/food.html http://www.costarica.com/culture/costa-rican-music/ http://centralamerica.com/cr/moon/moart.htm The People: http://www.play-costa-rica.com/people-culture.html http://www.therealcostarica.com/costa_rica/costaricans.html History: http://www.geographia.com/costa-rica/history.htm