sweet, small taste of Costa Rica
By Cameron Cope
December 15, 2006 | Costa Rica is located in Central
America between Nicaragua and Panama and is smaller
than West Virginia. With the Pacific coast to the west
and the Caribbean to the east, the country is mostly
all coastlines. Costa Rica is located about eight degrees
north of the equator, making the climate tropical year
round. This means great surfing, beaches, and tropical
Having the greatest density of species in the world,
Costa Rica protects over 25 percent of its land within
national parks. Costa Rica has only about 0.1 percent
of the world's land mass, but contains 5 percent of
the world's biodiversity. The country contains over
800 types of birds and over 100 species of mammals.
The lush jungles are home to monkeys, lizards, crocodiles,
languid sloths, poisoning dart frogs, exotic birds,
insects and butterflies.
Costa Rica's seasons are split into two; verano (summer)
and invierno (winter). Opposite of the United States,
their winter is from May to November, constantly raining.
Summer, the dryer season, is from December to May. The
average annual temperature is 27 degrees Celsius. Deforestation
and land use change, largely as a result of the clearing
of land for cattle ranching and agriculture; soil erosion;
coastal marine pollution; fisheries protection; solid
waste management; air pollution.
Arenal is one of four volcanoes located in Costa Rica.
With the slow, steady, erupting, the volcano is an attraction
for all to see. At night, the glowing red lava can be
seen climbing down the mountain.
The phrase "Pura Vida" (pure life), can be seen and
heard everywhere as it is a motto ubiquitous in Costa
Rica. In summarizes the ideology of living in peace
in a calm, unflustered manner, appreciating a life surrounded
by nature, family and friends.
Costa Rica's economy is stable. Originally, it was
based on agriculture including coffee, bananas, pineapples,
and ornamentals. Recently, however, ecotourism, electronics,
pharmaceuticals, financial outsourcing and software
development have become the prime industries. With the
government offering tax exemptions for those who invest
within the country, high education levels, and the growing
tourism attraction, foreign investors remain attracted.
Although poverty still existing, it has been decreasing
for the last 15 years.
Costa Rica is a Democratic Republic, has a population
of nearly 4 million people, and is 92 percent Christian.
Settlement of Costa Rica began in 1522 after Christopher
Columbus arrived. Spain called the country "Rich Coast",
even though little gold was ever discovered.
Costa Rica declared its independence from Spain in
1821, becoming one of several Central American Provinces.
In 1823, they joined the United Provinces of Central
America, but disintegrated in 1838, where they proclaimed
its sovereignty and independence. Since the late 19th
century, only two brief periods of violence have hindered
the country's democratic development. The standard of
living is relatively high compared to other Central
American and South American Countries.
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