Costa Rica



Costa Rica

Costa Rica is exactly what it means, rich coast. The beaches on both the Pacific and Caribbean coasts are full of beautiful plants, animals and people. That is what I consider to be rich. The beaches are not rich like others might think. Costa Rica lacked gold and silver that mesmerized the 16th century Spanish conquerors. For this very reason Spain virtually ignored Costa Rica during colonial times. Costa Rica also lacked a large amount of Amerindian population, that is why most of the people today are of purely Spanish decent. (Encyclopedia Americana p.50) Costa Rica is snuggled in between Nicaragua to the north and Panama to the south.
Costa Rica is very rich in plant and animal life. Costa Rica is almost covered by forests. There are more than 130 families of trees that embrace some 1,300 species. The wildlife includes many exotic animals such as jaguars, pumas, deer, ocelot, sloths, and a variety of monkeys. At least 725 species of birds including parrots and toucans and 130 species of snakes and frogs have also been observed. (Encyclopedia Americana p.51-52) On the beaches you could find a variety of crabs, iguanas, basilisks, and sea turtles swimming in the ocean. (Egelkraut p.54-55) When sea turtles come to Ostional, Costa Rica to lay their eggs it is called la arribaba- the arrival. By 2 a.m. the Pacific beach looked like a cobblestone street where the cobblestones had come to life. (Rudloe p.97) Poaching eggs from a placid leatherback, a Costa Rican villager is one of legions who illegally take turtle eggs in Latin America. Eggs can go at two dollars a dozen and are hot in bars. (Rudloe p.104)
The labor force amounted to 1,087,000 in 1992 which is about 34.1% of the total population. About half the total work force is concentrated in San Jose and Alajuela

provinces. (Worldmark vol. 3 p.125) About 23% of the labor force is in the service or the government and 21% are in agriculture. (World Almanac p.756)
Costa Rica is on e of the most literate populations in Latin America. There are five universities including an open university. The Open University located in San Jose operates 28 regional centers for all students that apply. The University of Costa Rica is supported by the government and enrolls about 28,000 students. (Worldmark vol. 3 p.128-129) In 1995 the adult literacy was 95%. Education is free and compulsory for ages 6-15. (World Almanac p.756) Health standards have steadily improved in Costa Rica. Hospitals are located in the principal cities, and about 95% of the hospital beds are in urban areas. Health services for the rural population are generally inadequate, and the refugee problem has severely taxed urban services. There are sanitary units and dispensaries to care for the health needs of the poor. (Worldmark vol.3 p.128) Life expectancy at birth for males are 73.4 years and for females it is 78.4 years. There is 1 physician for every 870 persons. (World Almanac p.756)
One day I hope to live in Costa Rica because for me it is truly paradise. I would love to live in the tropics and not have to worry about cold weather. I also thought that the ticos (what they call themselves) are very friendly and like to learn about the new technology.




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