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Costa Rica Land of natural wonders, Land of peace. Costa Rica does not have an army. For over a century it has been a peaceful country . Costa Rica has contributed greatly to bring peace to Central America . Location.

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Costa rica land of natural wonders land of peace l.jpg

Costa RicaLand of natural wonders,Land of peace

Costa Rica does not have an army. For over a century it has been a peaceful country.

Costa Rica has contributed greatly to bring peace to Central America .

Location l.jpg

  • Costa Rica is located in Central America, between Nicaragua to the North and Panamá to the South.

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  • It is a very small country compared to the size of West Virginia.

  • The official language is Spanish.

  • The official currency is EL COLON.

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Currency5 colones bill

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Currency2.000 colones

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CurrencyMil colones bill & coins

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  • Costa Rica’s population is close to

    4 million.

  • The capital is San José, located right in the heart of the country.

  • There is a 94% literacy rate, one of the highest in the world.

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More Facts

  • The official religion is Roman Catholic and each “barrio” (neighborhood) has a church.

    Approximately 93% of Costa Rican are Catholics.

  • Most of the architecture is in colonial style.

  • Costa Rican calendar evolves around the church calendar.

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More Facts

  • Religious festivities are the base of Costa Rican culture.

  • Holy Week is highly respected and celebrated with processions on the streets.

  • Christmas is also celebrated with great joy.

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La Virgen de los AngelesNational Patron

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Holy Week

  • Processions

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Navidad ( Christmas)“El Portal”, The Nativity scene is a Christmas tradition

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  • Costa Rica gained its independence from Spain in 1821.

  • It is said that it was called “ Costa Rica”

    ( Rich Coast ) by Christopher Columbus when he landed in the Atlantic Coast and was impressed by its beauty.

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  • However, the Spanish considered it a poor colony. There was not much gold or other minerals and its indigenous population was very small.

  • Therefore, there was not much to conquer.

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  • The lack of wealth became in the long run Costa Rica’s blessing.

  • Because of the lack of slavery and human exploitation, Costa Ricans develop a sense of high appreciation for peace and tolerance.

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  • As a result, Costa Rica became mainly a land of farmers which created a large middle class.

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  • In 1856, William Walker an American filibuster tried to take over Costa Rica. Soon enough the farmers got together and using their tools planned to get rid of him.

  • Juan Santamaría became the national hero. He gave his life when he burned the headquarters where Walker and allies were hiding and planning the invasion.

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  • In 1948 “ Don Pepe” José Figueres

    abolished the Army & created the new Country’s constitution which continued the tradition of democracy.

  • Since then, Costa Rica has been known as the “Switzerland” of Latin America.

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  • President of Costa Rica during 3 different periods.

  • 1948-49

  • 1953-59

  • 1970-74

  • Creator of the National Liberation Party. PLN

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Not having an army is the key to a real democracy

  • The government invests more in education, health and ecological conservation.

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Don Oscar Arias

  • Costa Rica’s second Hero is “Don Oscar” Creator of the “Esquipulas Peace plan for Central America.

  • President from 1986-1990 & current president since 2005.

  • 1987 Nobel Peace Laureate

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  • Costa Rica like the US has a bipartisan system

  • Two major parties dominate the political scenario.

  • Liberación Nacional ( Rightist)

  • Unidad Social Cristiana ( Leftist)

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  • Costa Rica was introduced to Coffee in the 16th century, since then coffee has played a major role in the economy of the country.

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  • The rich volcanic soils are wonderful to grow coffee.

  • It was the nation’s major export for years.

  • It helped to create and maintain the aristocratic class.

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  • Costa Rica’s coffee is known today as Arabica and it originated from Ethiopia.

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  • Have also play a very important role in the economy of the country.

  • The industry was introduced by the American Michael Keith in the late 1800’s when he build the first rail road that connected the Central Valley with the Atlantic Coast.

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  • Michael Keith’s company would become later the United Fruit Company that started the “Chiquita Banana” brand.

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  • Within the last twenty years tourism has become the main industry in the country counting for ¾’s of Costa Rica’s revenue.

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  • Costa Rica’ s natural beauty and diversity attracts thousands of tourists every year.

  • The political stability of the country is a great incentive for people to travel.

  • The country has a wonderful tropical climate with 2 distinctive seasons (dry and wet) and stays at around 60-80 degrees year round.

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  • The country has seven different provinces & great bio diversity.

  • All provinces are very different from each other.

  • Bordered by both the Atlantic and the Pacific ocean, the country has the diversity and richness of both costs.

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  • Dry regions in the pacific.

  • Rain forest in the pacific northwest.

  • Cloud forest in the central Valley

  • Multiple Volcanoes

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  • Since the 1970’s Costa Rica has enforced very effective measures to promote eco-tourism and to protect its natural wonders.

  • Approximately 27% of the country’s territory is either national parks, wildlife refuges or natural reserves.

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The central Valley

  • Alajuela, Heredia, Cartago y San José.

  • These are the main cities located in the Central Valley, no matter where you are you can see the mountains.

  • Very refreshing, spring like weather.

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Local Artists:

  • Carmen Lyra:

    A writer of children’s

    stories and a wonderful


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Local artits

  • A combination of Jazz and Latin traditional music, Editus is a delightful & unique band.

  • They have won 4 Grammies.

  • Listen to samples of their music at :

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Hotel Costa Rica y Plaza de la Cultura

Located in the heart of San José.

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La Feria Every Saturday local farmers sell their products at the outdoors market called “LA FERIA”

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Tropical fruit:Papaya, mamón chino, y magos.

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Tropical FruitJocotes, mangos

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Local Homes

  • Costa Rica’s homes usually have very strong foundations because of the many and common tremors and earthquakes.

  • Most homes are made of brick.

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View from a Central Valley Home

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Monteverde ( Rain Forest)

  • Heaven on earth

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The Sky Trek & Canopy tours

  • The closest you can ever feel to heaven still being on earth.

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Bird Watching


Scuba diving





Horse back riding

Whitewater Rafting

Tropical Bungee

Activities you can enjoy in Costa Rica

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Scuba Diving

  • Wonderful both in the Pacific and Atlantic Coasts.

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  • Witches Rock is the most famous spot

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Costa Rican Peoplecommonly called “TICOS”

  • “Tico” comes from the diminutives suffixed by Costa Ricans to almost every word which helps to soften the speech & appears more approachable when interacting with others.

  • Ticos are known for being very warm & caring.

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The phrase that embodies the Tico lifestyle is Pura Vida, literally translated as Pure Life, meaning roughly "This is living!" or "Cool!" Friends often greet or salute eachother with Pura vida

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Education & Children

  • Is the government’s greatest priority.

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Costa Rican Typical Food

  • The staple of the Costa Rican diet consist of rice and beans.

  • Food is very natural & savory although not spicy.

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Tropical Fruit




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It is boiled first and then eaten with mayonnaise and lemon.

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Black Rice & Beans mixed together. It is a typical breakfast dish.

Very tasty & colorful calls for onion, garlic, cilantro and red bell pepper & Salsa Lizano, a spicy salsa made in Costa Rica.

Gallo Pinto

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Plantains dish.

Although they look like bananas, they are not bananas. They belong to the same family but are different. They maybe boiled, fried or baked. They are very sweet and yummy.

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Arroz con pollo dish.

It is the weekend dish and the most commonly served at family gatherings and partys. The chicken is mixed in the rice.

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Casado dish.

A casado consists of black beans, rice, potato hash, salad, plantain and any type meat.

It could be served with chicken, steak, fish, etc.

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Empanadas dish.

Empanadas are made of a fine pastry filled with beef, chicken, potatoes, or fruit. They could be salty or sweet.

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Lengua en Salsa dish.

Believe it or not

“Cow tongue” is a delicatessen in Costa Rica. It is made for special holidays or celebrations.

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Tamales dish.

  • It is one of Costa Rica’s most traditional dishes. They may look like a simple dish but they take an entire day to make. They are made out of corn and wrapped in a banana leaf. Tamales are filled with pork, rice and vegetables.

    They are traditionally eaten during the holidays.

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Carne rellena dish.

A traditional holiday dish. It is very similar to a Costa Rican style tamal but made with ground beef.

Sr. Gerardo Jara

Heredia, Costa Rica

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Tres Leches dish.

A traditional Latin American dessert.

Every country has its own variety but they all call for “3 milks” , evaporated, condensed & whipping cream. It is very refreshing

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Pan ( Bread) dish.

Costa Ricans eat bread 3 times a day. At breakfast, as a snack and at coffee break in the afternoons around 4:00 pm. In the cities, there is a bakery shop almost on every corner. When riding the bus, the smell of fresh bread is everywhere.

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Coffee dish.

The smell of fresh brewed coffee is everywhere.

Coffee is not only one of Costa Rica’s main income sources but an excuse to chat and relax.

Costa Ricans drink coffee anytime as an excuse to take a break and socialize.

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Salsa Lizano dish.

  • There is no gallo pinto without Salsa lizano.

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National Emblems dish.

La guaria Morada.

The national Flower

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El Yugüirro dish.

The National Bird

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El árbol de Guanacaste dish.

The national Tree

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La carreta dish.

The oxcart used to transport coffee in the 19th century. Now it is a popular souvenir and decoration.

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El escudo dish.

The National Emblem.

Represents the seven

provinces, the two oceans

& a new nation with great

hope for a wonderful

future for its children and

future generations

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La Bandera dish.

The national flag.

Blue represent the sky which we all share.

Red represents the blood sacrificed for the country’s freedom.

White represents the peace that Costa Ricans enjoy and treasure so much

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Peace & Democracy dish. “ Costa Ricans way of living & most precious treasure”