About Costa Rica

Education

Costa Ricans, also known as Ticos, place a great value on education and democracy. Most of the people in the country are literate.

People

Costa Ricans call themselves Ticos due to their tendency to add the diminutive “tico” to the end of many words. The largest indigenous population of Costa Rica are the Bribrí who mainly live in remote communities in the Talamanca Mountains of the Caribbean Coast.

Pura Vida

Simply translated, it means “pure life”. Pura Vida is a way of life in Costa Rica with the feeling of low stress and simplicity. Local people use this term to say hello, goodbye, everything is alright or everything is cool. Pura Vida is that extra element that makes life good.

Language

The official language of Costa Rica is Spanish. There are also many local indigenous languages, such as Bribrí, Cabécar and Maléku. Caribbean descendants living on the Atlantic coast speak English and Creole.

Religion

Most Costa Ricans identify themselves as Catholics. Others are of different faiths including Evangelical Christian, Seventh-day Adventist, Jehovah’s Witness, Protestant, Mormonism, Judaism, and Islam.

Economy

Since the mid-1980s, Costa Rica has been a center for factories that assemble garments, electronic components and other goods for export. Coffee, bananas, and pineapples are the country’s main agricultural exports. Recently, eco-tourism and technology have become major industries.

Health Care

Costa Rica leads Central America in health due to the extension of free care to its citizens through the Health Ministry and Social Security System. By the 1990s, Costa Rica has had as many doctors per one thousand people as the United States.

Sport

Soccer is the leading sport in Costa Rica. Most Costa Ricans not only follow their own teams, but also track foreign leagues. Costa Rica’s national men’s soccer team enjoyed its best World Cup ever in 2014.

Festivals and Holidays

Costa Rica has plenty of festivals. Every town and village has its own saint’s day. Main national holidays include Mother’s Day (August 15th) and Independence Day (September 15th).

The Costa Rican Rainforest

More than one-quarter of the nation’s land has been set aside as national parks, wildlife refuges, and special nature preserves to protect many of the country’s tropical and cloud rainforests Costa Rica accounts for only 0.03% of our planet’s surface but it contains nearly 6% of the world’s biodiversity. Many plants are useful in cancer treatments, however, only a small percentage of the plant life in the tropical rainforests has been studied and used for their medicinal value Costa Rica’s rainforest is home to: -500,000 different species of plants, tree, and animals -more than 1,300 species of butterflies (more than 10 percent of the world’s butterflies live in Costa Rica) -at least 838 species of birds -440 species of reptiles and amphibians -232 species of mammals The rainforest is home to black howler monkeys that can be heard almost 5 km (3 miles) away! The average temperature of the tropical rainforest averages between 70 and 85 degrees F.