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Costa Rica

Overview of Costa Rica

Compared to West Virginia, Costa Rica is considerably smaller. It covers an area of about 51, 032 in square kilometers. The region is covered with rugged terrain and it is ideally divided by a central mountain. This separates the western and eastern costal plains. Costa Rica is located in Central America’s southern end and is bordered by Panama to the South and Nicaragua to the north. The climate can be best described as subtropical and tropical. Notably, the weather does vary from one region to another in accordance to with the distance from the coast line and the general altitude as well.

The Population

The population of Costa Rica is estimated to be 3,000,000 with a growth rate of about 2.5%. The Capital city, San Jose is known to host a large percentage of this population. Out of the overall population, 96% are from the European Stock and this includes Mestizos, 3% are blacks and 1% makes up the indigenous group. Only a small percentage of the population is made up of Asian inhabitants.

Religion and Language of the People

95% of the Costa Rican population is made up of Roman Catholics, although there is an increase of members of other denominations such as the Christian Baptists, Mormon and Protestants. In addition to this, the population also boasts of hosting a few Jews. Spanish is the official language use by the people to communicate, but a select number of the population also use a Jamaican English accent particularly in regions such as Puerto Limon and the Atlantic Coast.

A Brief History about Costa Rica

The Europeans arrived in Costa Rica during Christopher Columbus’s 4th and last New World voyage. This was in 1502 and it was not until 1522 that formal settlement begun. For more than three hundred years, the Spanish ran Costa Rica as a colony. This was under the watch of a military governor. The Spanish were expecting to acquire gold from the region, and for this reason they named it Costa Rica meaning the ‘Rich Coast’. As it turned out, the region did not have that much gold. In the end, majority of settlers had to turn to agricultural in order to survive since the region did not have other minerals as anticipated. The indigenous population was considerably small and the Spanish did not manage to establish forced labor extensively. As a result, the region ended up developing in a completely different manner compared to other Latin American countries. In the end an independent, agrarian individualist society was formed thanks to the linguistic homogeneity and modest standard of living of the people.

When Costa Rica attained its Independence

It was not until on the 15th of September in 1821 that the nation obtained independence. While other Central American countries fought the Spanish in order to obtain their freedom, Costa Rica obtained it without any bloodshed. In actual sense, Costa Ricans learnt about the independence, months after it had been declared.

Costa Rica Weather

Despite its location in the tropics, Costa Rica boasts of having twelve distinct climates. From a general standpoint of view, the region has 2 distinct seasons. These include the dry season which runs from December to April and the rainy season which is from May to November. When visiting Costa Rica during the rainy season, visitors are advised to carry an umbrella since down pours tend to be frequent. During this time, it barely takes 1 to 2 minutes before people get soaked.

The central valley records a temperature of 72F, the Pacific records 89F while the Caribbean records 82F. This is simply an outline of the general weather conditions and it is important to note that each region has a unique micro climate. Consequently, visitors are advised to plan accordingly whenever they choose to visit Costa Rica.

Attractions in Costa Rica

Costa Rica boasts of offering an expanse source of natural resources. While ruins and the culture is different compared to other countries like Peru, Mexico and Guatemala, it has something for everyone. Being the link between South and North America, the region also offers a wealth of exotic animals as well as plant species. It is home to more than eight hundred and fifty bird species and the plant variety is estimated at five hundred thousand to one million. In addition to this, it the region also houses a variety of dry tropical and rain forests. One good example is Monterverde Reserve which hosts the famous Cloud Forest.

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Bernadette Otieno

Bernadette Otieno is a writer and film practitioner based in Kenya. She produced her first short film called Gangari (Hustler). The film won the best student film award in the 2012 Kenyan Kalasha Television and Film Awards.

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