Costa Rica has been cited as Central America's great health success story. [69][82] In 2016, the World Travel & Tourism Council's estimates indicated a direct contribution to the GDP of 5.1% and 110,000 direct jobs in Costa Rica; the total number of jobs indirectly supported by tourism was 271,000. [34] In 2015, the value of coffee exports was US$305.9 million, a small part of the total agricultural exports of US$2.7 billion. Arias announced that both countries would exchange ambassadors. This geographic location of Costa Rica within the Isthmus makes people conclude that the country is part of South America. It is known for its long-standing and stable democracy, and for its highly educated workforce, most of whom speak English. Since 1999, tourism earns more foreign exchange than the combined exports of the country's three main cash crops: bananas and pineapples especially,[68] but also other crops, including coffee. The country needs even more workers who are fluent in English and languages such as Portuguese, Mandarin and French. A 2016 report by the U.S. government report identifies other challenges facing Costa Rica as it works to expand its economy by working with companies from the US (and probably from other countries). In fact, while Central America is considered a politically separate region, it is actually the southernmost part of the continent of North America. Costa Rica is incredibly safe, as long as you use good sense. The circumstances during this period are believed to have led to many of the idiosyncrasies for which Costa Rica has become known, while concomitantly setting the stage for Costa Rica's development as a more egalitarian society than the rest of its neighbors. [83], A pioneer of ecotourism, Costa Rica draws many tourists to its extensive series of national parks and other protected areas. The major concern of the government at the moment is how to minimize the growing debts and how to raise funds to meet the budget deficit. [64] The major concerns identified were as follows: Costa Rica is the most-visited nation in the Central American region,[77] with 2.9 million foreign visitors in 2016, up 10% from 2015. [54] A 2017 study by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development warned that reducing the foreign debt must be a very high priority for the government. [118], About 10.7% of Costa Rica's adult population (18 or older) also speaks English, 0.7% French, and 0.3% speaks Portuguese or German as a second language.[119]. [64] General Basic Education is mandatory and provided without cost to the user. With uninterrupted democracy dating back to at least 1948, the country is the region's most stable.[43][44]. It was not long before Spanish settlers turned to the hills, where they found rich volcanic soil and a milder climate than that of the lowlands.[25]. [12], Costa Rica was sparsely inhabited by indigenous peoples before coming under Spanish rule in the 16th century. [105] The number of migrants declined in later years but in 2015, there were some 420,000 immigrants in Costa Rica[106] and the number of asylum seekers (mostly from Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala and Nicaragua) rose to more than 110,000, a fivefold increase from 2012. [130][unreliable source?]. [62], High quality health care is provided by the government at low cost to the users. Costa Rica was the point where the Mesoamerican and South American native cultures met. The boundaries between the continents of Earth are generally a matter of geographical convention. The most important exports in 2015 (in order of dollar value) were medical instruments, bananas, tropical fruits, integrated circuits and orthopedic appliances. It is also a member of many other international organizations related to human rights and democracy, such as the Community of Democracies. It would also benefit from more graduates in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) programs, according to the report. In exchange for completing the railroad, the Costa Rican government granted Keith large tracts of land and a lease on the train route, which he used to produce bananas and export them to the United States. [139] The Nicoya Peninsula is considered one of the Blue Zones in the world, where people commonly live active lives past the age of 100 years. Geographically speaking, it is part of North America while its cultural heritage is Latin American. [12] Well over half of that type of investment has come from the U.S.[56] According to the government, the zones supported over 82,000 direct jobs and 43,000 indirect jobs in 2015. Costa Rica is classified as an economically stable country in Central America. In spite of its tiny size, the country hosts an impressive 5% of the world’s biodiversity, 121 volcanic formations, and over 100 protected natural areas. After the coup d'état, Figueres became a national hero, winning the country's first democratic election under the new constitution in 1953. Christianity is Costa Rica's predominant religion, with Roman Catholicism being the official state religion according to the 1949 Constitution, which at the same time guarantees freedom of religion. [84] The trail Camino de Costa Rica supports this by allowing travelers to walk across the country from the Atlantic to the Pacific coast. In the northeast, there is a lowland jungle. Compared to many of its Central American neighbors, Costa Rica is extremely safe. Preventive health care is also successful. [140][141] The New Economics Foundation (NEF) ranked Costa Rica first in its 2009 Happy Planet Index, and once again in 2012. [32] The revenue helped to modernize the country. [118], A Creole-English language, Jamaican patois (also known as Mekatelyu), is an English-based Creole language spoken by the Afro-Carib immigrants who have settled primarily in Limón Province along the Caribbean coast. It has the 7th freest press according to the Press Freedom Index, it is the 37th most democratic country according to the Freedom in the World index and it is the 12th happiest country in the World Happiness Report. A Total Fertility Rate (TFR) of 2.1 represents the Replacement-Level Fertility: the average number of children per woman needed for each generation to exactly replace itself without needing international immigration.A value below 2.1 will cause the native population to decline By the year 2000, social health insurance coverage was available to 82% of the Costa Rican population. This freeze lasted 47 years until President Óscar Arias Sánchez re-established normal relations on 18 March 2009, saying, "If we have been able to turn the page with regimes as profoundly different to our reality as occurred with the USSR or, more recently, with the Republic of China, how would we not do it with a country that is geographically and culturally much nearer to Costa Rica?" [33][34], Most of the coffee exported was grown around the main centers of population in the Central Plateau and then transported by oxcart to the Pacific port of Puntarenas after the main road was built in 1846. That date is still celebrated as Independence Day in Costa Rica[26] even though, technically, under the Spanish Constitution of 1812 that had been readopted in 1820, Nicaragua and Costa Rica had become an autonomous province with its capital in León. It has a population of around 5 million in a land area of 51,060 square kilometers (19,714 square miles). The Department of Culture, Youth, and Sports is in charge of the promotion and coordination of cultural life. There are both state and private universities. The Mulatto segment (mix of white and black) represented 6.7% and indigenous people made up 2.4% of the population. [46][47] Corcovado is the one park in Costa Rica where all four Costa Rican monkey species can be found. This is based on the presumption that every country located in Central America is actually part of South America. From colonial times to now, Costa Rica's reluctance to become economically tied with the rest of Central America has been a major obstacle to efforts for greater regional integration.[30]. Many people draw a conclusion that Costa Rica is located in South America. High levels of education among its residents make the country an attractive investing location. The perinatal mortality rate dropped from 12.0 per 1000 in 1972 to 5.4 per 1000 in 2001.[145]. [95], On December 1, 1948, Costa Rica abolished its military force. [80] According to Costa Rica Vacations, once tourists arrive in the country, 22% go to Tamarindo, 18% go to Arenal, 17% pass through Liberia (where the Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport is located), 16% go to San José, the country's capital (passing through Juan Santamaría International Airport), while 18% choose Manuel Antonio and 7% Monteverde. An estimated 333,980 people live in the capital and largest city, San José, with around 2 million people in the surrounding metropolitan area. It is its own country, having declared independence from Spain on September 15, 1821. The country scored highest in environmental protection among the winners. This is how Costa Rican cuisine today is very varied, with every new ethnic group who had recently become part of the country's population influencing the country's cuisine. Another school of thought leading to the assumption is in relation to the Isthmus which connects South America and North America. Costa Rica is recognized in Latin America for the quality of its educational system. [64] When the army was abolished in 1949, it was said that the "army would be replaced with an army of teachers". It even is under the Latin American average of 62 percent and 85 percent in Europe, FLACSO reported. [4] The rate of secularism is high by Latin American standards. [75], In 1996, the Forest Law was enacted to provide direct financial incentives to landowners for the provision of environmental services. Other major cities are Puerto Limón, Alajuela and Heredia. 9 Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons", "Costa Rica, the 11th country to ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons", "Costa Rica Population Statistics - CostaRicaLaw.com", www.state.gov "Background Note: Costa Rica – People", "Costa Rica Seeks to Shut Its Doors to Illegal Migrants From Nicaragua", "Costa Rica country profile (from the Migration and Remittances Factbook 2011)", "US partners with Costa Rica to protect Central American refugees", "Costa Rica Becomes A Magnet For Migrants", "Nicaragua, Trump, Deportations and the Affect on Family Remittances", "Latinobarómetro 1995 - 2017: El Papa Francisco y la Religión en Chile y América Latina", "Navidad se vive diferente en hogares ticos no cristianos", Centro Israelita de Costa Rica, Comunidad Judía de Costa Rica, "San José Costa Rica LDS (Mormon) Temple", "List of LDS (Mormon) temples in Central America and the Caribbean", "What Languages Are Spoken In Costa Rica? With an area of 51,100 km², the country is about the size of Slovakia or slightly smaller than … The considerable distance and poor communication routes between Guatemala City and the Central Plateau, where most of the Costa Rican population lived then and still lives now, meant the local population had little allegiance to the federal government in Guatemala. It is one of the few countries that has a Pacific as well as Atlantic Ocean coast. [67], Pharmaceuticals, financial outsourcing, software development, and ecotourism have become the prime industries in Costa Rica's economy. Christianity is a major religion. [73] By 2015, 93 percent of the country's electricity came from renewable sources. [55], Many foreign companies (manufacturing and services) operate in Costa Rica's Free Trade Zones (FTZ) where they benefit from investment and tax incentives. South America, on the other hand, is a continent in the Southern Hemisphere. The country has consistently performed favorably in the Human Development Index (HDI), placing 68th in the world as of 2019[update], and fifth in Latin America. In practice, the captaincy general was a largely autonomous entity within the Spanish Empire. About 7% of GDP is allocated to the health sector, and over 70% is government funded. Costa Rica is an active member of the United Nations and the Organization of American States. The work of the department is divided into Direction of Culture, Visual Arts, Scenic Arts, Music, Patrimony and the System of Libraries. The legislative assembly and the judicially operates independently. Despite a comparatively lower cost of living, nominal salaries are common in many job sectors for non-skilled or semi-skilled workers. [43] In 1949, the abolition of the military was introduced in Article 12 of the Costa Rican Constitution. [136], Basketball is also a popular sport in Costa Rica even though the country's national team has not yet qualified for a major international tournament such as the FIBA AmeriCup or the FIBA World Cup.[137]. Honduras spans over 112,400 square kilometers. [94] In response, the PRC built a new, $100 million, state-of-the-art football stadium in Parque la Sabana, in the province of San José. [11], The central location provides access to American markets and direct ocean access to Europe and Asia. [10], The sovereign state is a unitary presidential constitutional republic. [71] This helped reorient the forestry sector away from commercial timber production and the resulting deforestation, and helped create awareness of the services it provides for the economy and society (i.e., carbon fixation, hydrological services such as producing fresh drinking water, biodiversity protection, and provision of scenic beauty).[71]. All children under one have access to well-baby clinics, and the immunization coverage rate in 2002 was above 91% for all antigens. Dance-oriented genres, such as soca, salsa, bachata, merengue, cumbia and Costa Rican swing are enjoyed increasingly by older rather than younger people. Mount, Graeme S. "Costa Rica and the Cold War, 1948–1990. For all these reasons, Costa Rica was, by and large, unappreciated and overlooked by the Spanish Crown and left to develop on its own. [110] This survey indicated a decline in the share of Catholics and rise in the share of Protestants and irreligious. The once agricultural dependent economy has diversified to other sectors such as pharmaceuticals, ecotourism, finance and foreign company investments through the Free Trade Zones (FTZ). The ports, roads, railways and water delivery systems would benefit from major upgrading, a concern voiced by other reports too. It became independent from Spain in the year 1838. The budget previously dedicated to the military is now dedicated to providing health care services and education. Panama is the southernmost country in Central America. Welcome to RealWorld. Costa Rica is not an island and it is part of the American continent. The country experiences a tropical climate in the lowlands an… The physical landscape of Honduras consists mainly of mountains, the Caribbean lowlands, and the Pacific lowlands. Most of them live in secluded reservations, distributed among eight ethnic groups: Quitirrisí (in the Central Valley), Matambú or Chorotega (Guanacaste), Maleku (northern Alajuela), Bribri (southern Atlantic), Cabécar (Cordillera de Talamanca), Guaymí (southern Costa Rica, along the Panamá border), Boruca (southern Costa Rica) and Térraba [es] (southern Costa Rica). Costa Rica hosts many refugees, mainly from Colombia and Nicaragua. [111] Most Buddhists are members of the Han Chinese community of about 40,000 with some new local converts. It is in Central America, bordered by Nicaragua to the north and Panama to the south. "Hechos Militares y Políticos de Nuestra Historia Patria". The national team has played in five FIFA World Cup tournaments and reached the quarter-finals for the first time in 2014. Costa Rica is bordered by Nicaragua to the north and Panama to the south and east. In the northwest lies the Caribbean Sea and North America. [78] In 2015, the tourism sector was responsible for 5.8% of the country's GDP, or $3.4 billion. Costa Rica’s figure is lower than the 65 percent reported in the United States and the 78 percent reported in Canada. Some languages, such as Teribe and Boruca, have fewer than a thousand speakers. [53] The estimated GDP for 2017 is US$61.5 billion and the estimated GDP per capita (purchasing power parity) is US$12,382. In 1948, José Figueres Ferrer led an armed uprising in the wake of a disputed presidential election between Rafael Ángel Calderón Guardia (who had been president between 1940 and 1944) and Otilio Ulate Blanco. [91] In 2010, there was also a dispute around Isla Calero, and the impact of Nicaraguan dredging of the river in that area. A diversity of soaring mountains, dormant and active craters, black and white sand beaches, rushing rivers and powerful waterfalls grace Costa Rica’s 19,653 square miles, an area smaller than West Virginia. [37] U.S. convicts, Italians and Chinese immigrants also participated in the construction project. Primary health care facilities in Costa Rica include health clinics, with a general practitioner, nurse, clerk, pharmacist and a primary health technician. ", This page was last edited on 11 December 2020, at 09:22. There is a rich variety of plants and Costa Rican wildlife. Politically, the country is under the framework of a presidential representative democratic republic embracing multiparty democracy. Its homicide rate is 10.3 people per 100,000, second in the region only to Nicaragua at 8.7. Costa Rica became a "rural democracy" with no oppressed mestizo or indigenous class. Costa Rica finished a term on the United Nations Security Council, having been elected for a nonrenewable, two-year term in the 2007 election. https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/01/sun-sea-and-stable-democracy-what-s-the-secret-to-costa-rica-s-success/#:~:text=As%20a%20result%2C%20Costa%20Rica,Happy%20Planet%20Index%20(HPI).&text=A%20recent%20Gallup%20poll%20found,longer%20than%20in%20the%20US. [128][129], Costa Rican cuisine is a blend of Native American, Spanish, African and many other cuisine origins. Since then, Costa Rica has held 14 presidential elections, the latest in 2018. El Valle Central is full of rich, volcanic soil, perfect for growing coffee, one of Costa Rica's most important crops. Costa Rica took in many refugees from a range of other Latin American countries fleeing civil wars and dictatorships during the 1970s and 1980s, notably from Chile and Argentina, as well as people from El Salvador who fled from guerrillas and government death squads. [134][135] On 17 November 2020, FIFA announced that the event would be held in Costa Rica in 2022. On 15 September 1821, after the final Spanish defeat in the Mexican War of Independence (1810–21), the authorities in Guatemala declared the independence of all of Central America. https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/is-costa-rica-in-south-america.html [11] Its economy, once heavily dependent on agriculture, has diversified to include sectors such as finance, corporate services for foreign companies, pharmaceuticals, and ecotourism. On 10 September 1961, some months after Fidel Castro declared Cuba a socialist state, Costa Rican President Mario Echandi ended diplomatic relations with Cuba through Executive Decree Number 2. Bordered to the north by Nicaragua and to the south by Panama, Costa Rica has both a Pacific and Caribbean coast. Approximately 600 Chinese engineers and laborers took part in this project, and it was inaugurated in March 2011, with a match between the national teams of Costa Rica and China. [21] The name may also have come from conquistador Gil González Dávila, who landed on the west coast in 1522, encountered natives, and obtained some of their gold, sometimes by violent theft and sometimes as gifts from local leaders. ", "Solo 1 de cada 10 adultos habla un segundo idioma". [71] Similarly, Costa Rica has a tax on water pollution to penalize businesses and homeowners that dump sewage, agricultural chemicals, and other pollutants into waterways. As a result of the immigration of Spaniards, their 16th-century Spanish culture and its evolution marked everyday life and culture until today, with Spanish language and the Catholic religion as primary influences. [133] Costa Rica, along with Panama, was granted the hosting rights of 2020 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup, which was postponed until 2021, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Atlantic coast, meanwhile, was populated with African workers during the 17th and 18th centuries. [citation needed], Costa Rica is among the Latin America countries that have become popular destinations for medical tourism. Exceptions are Guanacaste, where almost half the population is visibly mestizo, a legacy of the more pervasive unions between Spanish colonists and Chorotega Amerindians through several generations, and Limón, where the vast majority of the Afro-Costa Rican community lives. President Óscar Arias Sánchez admitted the action was a response to economic exigency. Students who finish 11th grade receive a Costa Rican Bachillerato Diploma accredited by the Costa Rican Ministry of Education. Following the brief Costa Rican Civil War in 1948, it permanently abolished its army in 1949, becoming one of only a few sovereign nations without a standing army.[13][14][15]. [23] Costa Rica was described as "the poorest and most miserable Spanish colony in all America" by a Spanish governor in 1719. The total exports were US$12.6 billion for a trade deficit of US$2.39 billion in 2015. Patients can choose private health care to avoid waiting lists. [138] Universal public education is guaranteed in the constitution; primary education is obligatory, and both preschool and high school are free. Shards of pots, cylindrical vases, platters, gourds and other forms of vases decorated with grooves, prints, and some modelled after animals have been found.[19]. [68] Coffee production increased by 13.7% percent in 2015–16, declined by 17.5% in 2016–17, but was expected to increase by about 15% in the subsequent year. The primary language spoken in Costa Rica is Spanish, which features characteristics distinct to the country, a form of Central American Spanish. Costa Rica is not part of Puerto Rico nor is it a territory of the United States either. [144], In 2002, there were 0.58 new general practitioner (medical) consultations and 0.33 new specialist consultations per capita, and a hospital admission rate of 8.1%. In 1917–19, General Federico Tinoco Granados ruled as a military dictator until he was overthrown and forced into exile. The Battle of Ochomogo took place on the Hill of Ochomogo, located in the Central Valley in 1823. The cantons are further divided into 473 districts (distritos). "Costa Rica is the Happiest Places in the World According to National Geographic. Majority of the people are whites making up to 83% of the population. Coffee production remained Costa Rica's principal source of wealth well into the 20th century, creating a wealthy class of growers, the so-called Coffee Barons. The Buglere language and the closely related Guaymí are spoken by some in southeast Puntarenas. [112], The Sinagoga Shaarei Zion synagogue[113] is near La Sabana Metropolitan Park in San José. They must also have an identity document or passport. Politically, Costa Rica is one of the stable countries in Latin America embracing strong constitutional checks and balances. [90], Costa Rica has a long-term disagreement with Nicaragua over the San Juan River, which defines the border between the two countries, and Costa Rica's rights of navigation on the river. Please update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information. [115] However, they represent less than 1% of the population.[116][117]. Central America is composed of seven countries namely Costa Rica, Belize, Guatemala, Panama, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Honduras. The population stands at 4.95 million hence a population density of 84 people per square miles. In the 2011 Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index, Costa Rica ranked 44th in the world and second among Latin American countries after Mexico in 2011. Contrary to common belief that Costa Rica is located in South America, the country is actually found in the Central American Isthmus, which forms a connection between North America and South America. [66] The country's Free Trade Zones provide incentives for manufacturing and service industries to operate in Costa Rica. Costa Rica borders the Caribbean Sea to the east, and the Pacific Ocean to the west. Keller, Marius; Niestroy, Ingeborg; García Schmidt, Armando; Esche, Andreas. 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