Costa Ricans Love Liberty,Peace, and Independance
Why do Costa Ricans love liberty, peace , and personal independence?
Christopher Columbus arrived on the Atlantic Coast of Costa in 1502 at the present town of Limon. He found very little gold in this small mountainous country. Therefore, few people from Spain came to settle here. By 1573 there were only 50 families and they settled in land near Cartago, and most of them lived on isolated farms in a state of grim impoverishment and working their lands as well as they could. There was very little influence from Spain and very little influence from the Catholic Church of Spain. The Spanish Colonial Government was set up in Guatemala and it was a three day trip by horse from Guatemala so Costa Rica was largely ignored.
Many Costa Ricans think that this point in history is the explanation for their love of Liberty, Peace, and Independence. Beginning with the independent yeoman farmer working is little plot of land , these people lived a modest life dominated by the struggle to survive without outside help or interference. No aristocratic social class arose and there were no groups of strong and powerful landowners to try and put down the poorer class of farmers.
These farmers lowered their heads to the sun and dirtied their hands in the soil of their own fields.
Commerce grew slowly. The first crop to be cultivated was tobacco but it was not good quality so there was not a market for it. The next crop to be planted was Cocoa which did not succeed either. Pirates sailed in on the Atlantic coast and robbed the Cocoa crops.
In 1521 independence was Spain was declared by the colonial officials in Guatemala and it was one month before Costa Rica received the news by a courier aboard a mule.
Signs of prosperity were brought on by the planting of coffee which grew profusely in the rich volcanic soil. Soon a small wealthy class of farmers arose from the sale of the coffee to Europe and they considered themselves the “high society” of Costa Rica. They traveled abroad and educated their children in the Universities of Europe . Their money built the National Theater in downtown San Jose, the capital city. Operas traveled from Europe to Costa Rica to perform.
Today Costa Rica does not have a standing army, has a literacy rate of around 95%, and has a socialized medical delivery system. Costa Ricans are considered among the happiest people in the world. There is no separation of church and state. The Catholic religion is taught in the public schools. Most Costa Ricans speak some English. The family unit is very strong and old people are cared for in their homes instead of Nursing Homes.
what are the negatives about living in Costa Rica? Petty theft is a big problem. People have to have someone in the home at all times unless they live in a gated-guarded community. Driving is difficult because the young men especially speed and dont follow the rules of safe driving. Cost of living is higher than their neighboring countries of Nicaragua and Panama.
Tourism (eco tourism) is the number one money maker in Costa Rica followed by coffee and bananas. Also large pineapple farms are popping up in the north eastern part of the country.
Unemployment is not a big problem.
The Costa Rican government has placed 20% of it’s land in National Parks and Wildlife Preserves.