What is it Like to Live in Costa Rica?
I would like to thank www.internations.org for this informative article related to living in Costa Rica. Click here to see how you can link up with expatriates in the city you are living.
LIVING IN COSTA RICA —“Tico at Heart” – Costa Rica’s Population
Costa Rica is becoming more and more popular among travelers and expats alike. This is not surprising, as its beautiful beaches, vast rainforests, and its flora and fauna, turn this country into a paradise. What people residing in Costa Rica often appreciate the most, however, is the country’s local population: the Ticos and Ticas. The origin of this rather affectionate nickname lies in the locals’ usage of the diminutive form: unlike what is common in the Spanish language, they would end more or less every word with the suffix “tico” instead of “ito” (i.e. poquitico, instead of poquito). The name stuck.
Ticos share a strong cultural identity and show pride in their nation and their society. In fact, a classic folk song boldly states that “I’m Latino inside, but Tico at heart.” This cultural pride also reflects in the attitude towards Costa Rica’s cultural treasures. 26% of the country’s landscape is protected by law and the population takes great interest in preserving the local rain forests with its unique flora and fauna.
Costa Rica’s society consists of a multitude of ethnic groups and minorities. Most people who live in Costa Rica are either Creole, i.e. descendants of the Spanish conquerors, or mestizo which means that they have both Spanish and Indio ancestors. However, part of the society is also made up of Indios, of descendants of African slaves, and of Asian and European minority groups. All in all, the population of more than 4.6 million people forms a society which is aware of its different cultural influences. Approximately 800,000 of these people are Nicaraguans who presently live and work in Costa Rica.
In general, Ticos are incredibly friendly, open, and welcoming people. Joy of life is prevalent in Costa Rica, just like the motto “Pura Vida”. One thing that might occasionally throw travelers and expats off is that Ticos seem to have a different perception of personal space than people from Western Europe, for instance. Touching is much more common among acquaintances, for instances. At the same time, people like to take the time to chat and find out more about you. The family is a popular topic of conversation, as it is considered very important in Costa Rica. Other favorite points of discussion are dancing and soccer, two of the Ticos’ favorite pastimes.
On the downside, machismo is still very common in Costa Rica, both in rural areas and bigger cities. While it may take quite some time to get used to, it might be best for women to ignore the constant staring and whistles and take it with humor. In general, Ticos value a peaceful coexistence. Thus, they often beat around the bush and do not like getting into a confrontation of any kind. With time, however, you will get used to their “yes but no” attitude and learn to appreciate the Ticos for their welcoming, friendly character.
What would a foreign person living in Costa Rica like best about this small country? Probably it would be the gentle, warm friendliness of its people. Second is the weather-“forever spring” Never to hot and never to cold. A rainy season which brings warm breezes and afternoon rains and is from around May 15 through around November 30th.
The dry season of mid December through April is sunny with clear deep blue skies. Tourism is very popular during this time, when thousands come to explore the mountains and rainforest and enjoy the beautiful beaches.
Costa Rica is filled with gorgeous flowering tropcial plants. This is in the Heliconia Family.