Essay on Costa Rica

This essay has a total of 1110 words and 6 pages.

Costa Rica

Costa Rica

Known for it's natural beauty and gracious people is a small country located in Central
America. Located between the countries of Nicaragua and Panama, bordered by both the
Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea is a true gem, the Republic of Costa Rica. Located ten
degrees north of the equator Costa Rica is in the tropics and even though it is a small
country it has a very diverse landscape and a variety of weather as well.

One unusual aspect of Costa Rica is that the country has no army and instead of a national
hero being a general it is a young barefoot campesino (farmer). Costa Rica prides on the
idea that they have gained through evolution what other countries have tried to attain
through revolution.

The first Spanish settlers arrived around the 1560's and upon their arrival they were
shocked that the indigenous people were resistant to forced labor and there was no wealth
of minerals. in 1522 there were an estimated 300,000 natives and by 1801 there were only
8,000 due to intertribal conflicts, wars with the Spanish, illness from the Old World,
intermarriage, and the sale of natives as slaves to other countries.

Because Costa Rica was such a poor, neglected piece of the Spanish Empire the poverty gave
rise to a simple life, with strong individualism, and an equality among social classes
that contributed to the beginnings of democracy in Costa Rica.

Costa Rica's government is divided into three branches with a Supreme Election Tribunal in
charge of elections which are held every four years. Costa Rica does have a large
beauracy, the government produces electricity, runs the telephone service, the national
banking system, builds houses, and distills liquor. About 14% of the population is
employed by the government.

Today the population of Costa Rica is 3,710,558. The main agricultural resources are
bananas, coffee, sugar, corn, rice, beans, potatoes, and timber. The main industries of
Costa Rica are food processing, textiles and clothing, construction materials, fertilizer,
and plastic products. The average Costa Rican's annual income is only $2,719 compared to
the U.S.'s $25,000. Minimum wage is just under $1 an hour. Spanish is the language of the
country and 95% of the population is Roman Catholic. The Capital of Costa Rica is San Jose
and the currency used in the country is Colones. The central valley is home to most of the
countries people because the area tends to be cooler and more mild than the coast and the
soils are rich.

Since most of the people in Costa Rica are of the Catholic religion most of the major
Costa Rican holidays are related to the church. Easter or Holy week also called Semana
Santa, is a huge holiday and if you are in Costa Rica during this holiday, the dates vary
annually, you will most likely see colorful parades, bullfights, rodeos, dancing,
fireworks, fiestas, and church celebrations. Usually during this week businesses will be
closed. Other holidays include March 19th which is St. Joseph's Day who is the patron
saint of San Jose, and September 15th which is Independence Day , a celebration of their
independence from Spain in 1821. Another big holiday season is Christmas and the New Year.
Most ticos (the name for local Costa Rican's) take the whole week from Christmas until the
New Year off from work so in turn almost all businesses are closed during this holiday
season.

As for Costa Rican food it is not for the weak of heart because it can be heavy in oil. A
lot of the dishes have a lot of rice and beans in them which is considered the main staple
of the Costa Rican diet. The national breakfast dish is Gallo Pinto which is beans and
rice in coconut milk. At lunch Gallo Pinto becomes Casado, cabbage and tomato salad are
added, fried plantains, and meat. Vegetables are obviously not a large part of the diet.
Even though Costa Rica has a lot of coastline fish and seafood is very expensive because
most of it is exported. There is no national drink but Horchata is a traditional cultural
drink made from a cornmeal cinnamon flavored drink. Another traditional drink is Chan a
slimy drink made of seeds, Linaza, and Fresco de Frutas. The local beer is a harsh, clear
distilled liquid made from fermented sugarcane. The local wines are a sure bet for a
hangover and made from fruits other than grapes such as blackberries and nance.

Costa rica is a country where the people will treat you like you are their best friend and
the sights are enough to take your breathe away. The white sand beaches, the lush
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