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Rica is literally translated from the Spanish, meaning "rich coast."
Costa Rica is a very mountainous country, and this
has created a few interesting aspects of their culture and way of life today. The
most noticeable of these is that the people appear very European.
Unlike many other countries in the region, where the Spanish and indigenous people
intermarried in large numbers, there were almost no indigenous people present in
Costa Rica so the people today have a much higher percentage of Spanish blood in
A big reason there were few indigenous people in the region was that the mountains
are difficult to maneuver, but the forests are also dense and there is little farm
land. Additionally, the European diseases the Spanish brought
with them killed most of the remaining people.
The blue and white strips of Costa
Rica's flag represent the previous flag of Central America (the blue symbolizes
the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, while the white represents the land of
Central America, as well as peace and prosperity). The red strip was added in 1848
to support the revolutionary moves of the French. Today the symbolism of the blue
and white have been slightly altered: the blue represents the sky, opportunity,
and perseverance, the white symbolizes peace, happiness, and wisdom, and the red
represents the blood shed for freedom, generosity, and the vibrancy of the people.
The flag also contains the country's coat of arms.
Name: Republic of Costa Rica
Independence: September 15, 1821
Capital: San Jose
Currency: Costa Rican Colon
Population: 4,695,942 (2013 estimate)
Ethnicity: European & others
Despite the small population, the Spanish settlers and
the indigenous people generally got along and intermarried, although the number
of Spanish greatly outnumbered the local population so most people appear almost
wholly Spanish. Despite this, the number of both groups was small as the Spanish
put very little money or effort into the region.
There is little farm land in Costa Rica, so most people
moved to the mountains where the temperatures were cooler, something that led to
the growth of coffee, which is still one of the country's largest exports today.
Even today the people of Costa Rica remain similar
as Spanish traditions dominate indigenous ones; the religion,
language, and culture of the Spanish dominate the country today. The food is truly
a combination of locally available foods with Spanish influence, making the cuisine
fairly original on a world scale, but similar to other
Central American countries. Coffee plantations are still a viable way of
life, but farming in the valleys and fishing along the coasts are also popular.
The people have also attracted tourists to their coasts and mountains, creating
a growing service industry.
Learn More About Costa Rica:
Map of Costa Rica:
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