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  • Writer's pictureEastbrook Community

Pura Vida!



Additional information about Costa Rica


History:

  • The land was discovered and names by Christopher Columbus in 1502 but it was not until 1561 that Spanish colonists permanently settled in Costa Rica.

  • Many of the indigenous people died due to infectious diseases such as measles and smallpox which were endemic among Europeans but to which they had no immunity.

  • After a brief civil war, Costa Rica passes its constitution in 1949In the same year, Costa Rica disbanded its armed forces and has not had a national army since.


Culture:

  • The Diquis culture was a pre-Colombian indigenous culture of Costa Rica that flourished from 700 AD to 1530 AD. The word “diquis” means “great waters” or “great river” in the Boruca language. The Diquis are known for stone spheres, an assortment of over three hundred petrospheres in Costa Rica located on the Diquis Delta.

  • There are around 500 stone spheres on the south side of Costa Rica which are believed to have been artifacts of indigenous people. No one knows the purpose of these stones but some theorize that they could be used to measure growth cycles, represent the social order in tribes, or they could have been used as meeting points. These spheres range in size from a few centimeters in diameter up to 6 feet. Costa Ricans refer to themselves as “ticos” or “ticas” for women.

  • Pura Vida is the national slogan which means pure life. It can be said as a goodbye, to wish someone well, or to ask how someone is doing.

  • The country has set up a school system that can be listened to over the radio so children in remote areas can still get the same lessons. This helps contribute to the 96% literacy rate

  • Catholicism is the official religion of Costa Rica.



Economy:

  • The economy is considered stable but has concerns about increasing debt and the budget deficit.

  • The economy depends strongly on tourism and ecotourism as well as agriculture.

  • Main exports are electrical components, textiles, bananas, coffee, and medical equipment.


Sustainability:

  • Over 25% of the land is preserved as national parks and forests.

  • Costa Rica banned recreational hunting in 2012 and is the first country in the world to do so.

  • In the capital of San Jose, car owners are prohibited from driving one day of the week. The day they cannot drive is determined by the last digit of their license plate.

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