Costa Rica is a small country in Central America with three million citizens. They have posters in the San Jose international Airport stating Costa Ricans are the happiest people in the world. Having lived in Costa Rica, being married to a Costa Rican, I can testify, in my opinion, why this is true.
Costa Ricans are family orientated. The family stays together and lives close to one another and help each other. Divorce rate is low.
The average middle class Costa Rican does not have a card and does not believe in going into debt. They live with much less materialism then we do here in the US.
In 2017 most adults owned a vehicle, but have learned it takes a lot of their monthly pay check, so many are returning to public transportation.
Weekend farmers markets in each town hold a market with fresh vegetables and fruits at very economical prices. However meat and fish remain expensive, so they mix a small amount of this with a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, thus eating economically.
Health care: Basic health care,including maturity,is provided in rural health clinics and people pick up their medication at these clinics. One has to be in line at 5 am to see a doctor assigned to the clinic. If surgery is needed, a long waiting time is necessary-unless it is a life threatening emergency. The socialized medical system has its own hospitals and doctors. Eeach citizen is required to pay a health care premium each month (usually not a large amount). This amount is based on their monthly salary.
However: Wealthy citizens who can afford to purchase private health care policies and
attend private hospitals and private doctors.
Housing: many young people remain living with their parents until marriage. Then they rent a small house or apartment. Home mortgages in CR are expensive with interest rates in colones up to 12%.
Wealthy citizens live in large expensive homes, still close to their parents.
Education- grades one-eleven. Public schools. Wealthy citizens send children to high price private school mostly taught in English.
Public schools teach well the basics-reading, writing,and arithmetic. Children can opt out of more advanced science and math classes.
University of Costa Rica is not expensive to attend. However: those Children must qualify by high grades to enter engineering, medicine, and veterinarian. Students with A average can attend tuition free.
Article written by ann cabezas creed costaricalearn.com