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Costa Rica Nation Report 1
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Costa Rica Nation Report 1

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  • 1. COSTA RICA
    Marian Huang
    HIST 28: Nation Report Part 1
    Dr. Arguello
  • 2. GEOGRAPHY
    • Located on the Central American Isthmus
    • 3. Captal: San Jose
    • 4. Borders Nicaragua and Panama
    • 5. Area: slightly smaller than West Virginia
    • 6. Total: 51,100 km²
    • 7. Land: 50,660 km²
    • 8. Water: 440 km²
    • 9. Climate: Tropical and Subtropical
    • 10. Dry Season (December-April)
    • 11. Rainy Season (May-November)
    • 12. Terrain: coastal plains separated by rugged mountains
    • 13. Over 100 volcanic cones
    • 14. Four volcanoes, two of them active
    • 15. Natural hazards: earthquakes, hurricanes, flooding, landslides, and volcanoes
  • GEOGRAPHY
    Two major mountains: Cordillera Central and Cordiller de Talmanca, separate the Pacific and Caribbean watersheds
    Biodiversity hotspot: 4.5% of world’s biodiversity found in Costa Rica
    26 national parks and over 160 protected areas
    • Tortuguero National Park: Created in 1970 to give protection 22km stretch of shoreline serving as prime nesting site for sea turtles
    • 16. Natural resources include hydropower from Lake Arenal (largest lake in Costa Rica)
    • 17. Deforestation is a very big problem
  • PEOPLE
    Costa Ricans (aka Ticos and Ticas)
    Population: 4,253,897
    July 2010 estimate)
    Mixing of races (Approximately 94% are of mixed heritage)
    Many families originated in parts of Europe, asia, Afirca, and Central America
    Very small number of indigenous Native Indians
    Decimated by Spanish conquests or melded over centuries into Costa Rican Society and blended culture
    77% Catholic, but religious institutions never had a powerful influence over political or cultural aspects
  • 18. PEOPLE
    Extremely family oriented people
    Peaceful and fun loving
    Love music and dance and occasionally enjoy alcohol
    Educated: 93% literacy rate (age 10+) making Costa Rica the most literate populace in Central America
    Social Class
    Majority of people are middle-class due to strong democratic system promoting equal opportunity
    Extreme poverty exists, but not to the extent of neighboring countries
    Upper class are small in numbers
  • 19. CULTURE
    Main language: Spanish
    • Native language: Bribri
    • 20. English, French, German, Italian, and Chinese also spoken
    • 21. Culture heavily influenced by Spanish culture
    • 22. Multicultural society due to high standards of life and education and the amount of visitors from other countries
    • 23. Conservative when it comes to family issues
    • 24. Family ties are very strong
    • 25. Men and women are expected to act differently from each other and to respect their roles (“machisimo” system)
  • CULTURE
    • Cuisine: combination of Spanish, American, Caribbean, and Southern American influences
    • 26. National Dish: Gallo Pinto (“spotted rooster”)
    Music: tropical music, salsa, meringue, and reggae
    Dance: very dynamic part of culture
    Sports: most played sport is futbol (soccer)
    Main religious events: Easter Week (Semana Santa), Christmas Week
  • 27. HISTORY
    Country inhabited by 400,000 Indians when Columbus explored in 1502
    Spanish conquest began in 1524 and region grew into a Spanish province
    Achieved independence in 1821
    Became a republic in 1848
    1970: oil prices rose, international commodity prices fell, and inflation hurt the economy
    • Efforts were made to reduce reliance on coffee, banana, and beef exports
    • 28. Tourism became a major business
  • HISTORY
    Costa Rica gained reputation as one of the most stable, prosperous, and least corrupt Latin American countries
    • A few negative events occurred like when Costa Rican presidents (José Maria Figueres Olsen, Miguel Angel Rodríguez, and Rafael Angel Calderon) were investigated on corruption charges
    • 29. Government voted to implement Central American Free Trade Agreement in 2008
    • 30. Laura Chinchlla became country’s first female president (took 47% of the vote)

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