Portal:Costa Rica

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The Costa Rica Portal

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Location of Costa Rica
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Provinces of Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a country in Central America, bordered by Nicaragua to the north, Panama to the southeast, the Pacific Ocean to the west, and the Caribbean Sea to the east.

Costa Rica, which means "Rich Coast", constitutionally abolished its army permanently in 1949. It is the only Latin American country included in the list of the world's 22 older democracies. Costa Rica has consistently been among the top Latin American countries in the Human Development Index (HDI), ranked 69th in the world in 2011. Also was cited by the UNDP in 2010 as one of the countries that have attained much higher human development than other countries at the same income levels, and in 2011 was highlighted by UNDP for being a good performer on environmental sustainability, and better record on human development and inequality than the median of their region. It was also the only country to meet all five criteria established to measure environmental sustainability. The country is ranked fifth in the world, and first among the Americas, in terms of the 2012 Environmental Performance Index.

In 2007, the Costa Rican government announced plans for Costa Rica to become the first carbon-neutral country by 2021. According to the New Economics Foundation, Costa Rica ranks first in the Happy Planet Index and is the "greenest" country in the world.


Costa Rica has generally enjoyed greater peace and more consistent political stability compared with many of its fellow Latin American nations. Since the late 19th century, however, Costa Rica has experienced two significant periods of violence. In 1917–19, General Federico Tinoco Granados ruled as a military dictator until he was overthrown and forced into exile. The unpopularity of Tinoco's regime led, after he was overthrown, to a considerable decline in the size, wealth, and political influence of the Costa Rican military. In 1948, José Figueres Ferrer led an armed uprising in the wake of a disputed presidential election between the previous president Rafael Ángel Calderón Guardia (he served as president between 1940 and 1944) and Otilio Ulate Blanco. With more than 2,000 dead, the resulting 44-day Costa Rican Civil War was the bloodiest event in Costa Rica during the 20th century.

The victorious rebels formed a government junta that abolished the military altogether, and oversaw the drafting of a new constitution by a democratically elected assembly. Having enacted these reforms, the junta relinquished its power on November 8, 1949, to the new democratic government. After the coup d'état, Figueres became a national hero, winning the country's first democratic election under the new constitution in 1953. Since then, Costa Rica has held 13 presidential elections, the latest in 2010. All of them have been widely regarded by the international community as peaceful and transparent.


Because Costa Rica is located between 8 and 12 degrees north of the Equator, the climate is tropical year round. However, the country has many microclimates depending on elevation, rainfall, topography, and by the geography of each particular region.

Costa Rica's seasons are defined by how much rain falls during a particular period and not to the four seasons in the Northern Hemisphere.

The year can be split into two periods:

  • Dry Season - known to the residents as summer

The "summer" or dry season goes from December to April.

  • Rainy Season - known locally as winter

The "winter" or rainy season goes from May to November, which almost coincides with the Atlantic hurricane season, and during this time, it rains constantly in some regions.

The location receiving the most rain is the Caribbean slopes of the Central Cordillera Mountains, with an annual rainfall of over 5,000 mm (196.9 in). Humidity is also higher on the Caribbean side than on the Pacific side. The mean annual temperature on the coastal lowlands is around 27 °C (81 °F), 20 °C (68 °F) in the main populated areas of the Central Cordillera, and below 10 °C (50 °F) on the summits of the highest mountains.

Selected article

Religion in Costa Rica

The most recent nationwide survey of religion in Costa Rica, conducted in 2007 by the University of Costa Rica, found that 70.5 percent of the population identify themselves as Roman Catholics (with 44.9 percent practicing, 25.6 percent nonpracticing), 13.8 percent state they are Evangelical Protestants, 11.3 percent report that they do not have a religion, and 4.3 percent declare that they belong to another religion.

Apart from the dominant Catholic religion, there are several other religious groups in the country. Methodist, Lutheran, Episcopal, Baptist, and other Protestant groups have significant membership. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) claim more than 35,000 members and has a temple in San Jose that served as a regional worship center for Costa Rica, Panama, Nicaragua, and Honduras. Although they represent less than 1 percent of the population, Jehovah's Witnesses have a strong presence on the Caribbean coast. Seventh-day Adventists operate a university that attracts students from throughout the Caribbean Basin. The Unification Church maintains its continental headquarters for Latin America in San Jose. Non-Christian religious groups, including followers of Judaism, Islam, Taoism, Hare Krishna, Scientology, Tenrikyo, and the Bahá'í Faith, claim membership throughout the country, with the majority of worshipers residing in the Central Valley (the area of the capital). While there is no general correlation between religion and ethnicity, indigenous peoples are more likely to practice animism than other religions.

Article 75 of the Costa Rican Constitution states that the "Catholic, Apostolic, and Roman Religion is the official religion of the Republic". That same article provides for freedom of religion, and the Government generally respects this right in practice. The US government found no reports of societal abuses or discrimination based on religious belief or practice in 2007.

Selected picture

Gallo Pinto at breakfast.jpg

A Costa Rican breakfast with gallo pinto.


Dawsons Creek Jen: You know what? It may be a huge mistake, absolutely horrible. We may come back after a week. But so what? No matter what happens, for the rest of our lives, whenever Costa Rica comes up in casual conversation, we'll be able to say, "Good Old Costa? Yeah, I spent some time there." Jack: How often does Costa Rica come up in casual conversation? Jen: Hey! You tryin' to kill my buzz, man?

William McFee "And what are those things at all?" demands my companion, diverted for a moment from the flowers. She nods towards a mass of dull-green affairs piled on mats or being lifted from big vans. She is a Cockney and displays surprise when she is told those things are bananas. She shrugs and turns again to the musk-roses, and forgets. But to me, as the harsh, penetrating odor of the green fruit cuts across the heavy perfume of the flowers, comes a picture of the farms in distant Colombia or perhaps Costa Rica. There is nothing like an odor to stir memories.

Will Rogers I originated a remark many years ago that I think has been copied more than any little thing that I've every said, and I used it in the FOLLIES of 1922. I said America has a unique record. We never lost a war and we never won a conference in our lives. I believe that we could without any degree of egotism, single-handed lick any nation in the world. But we can't confer with Costa Rica and come home with our shirts on.

Doug Stanhope New York is baffling in that it's a city that prides itself on being an absolute shit-hole. It's like — there's nothing good here, people are proud of that, they're happy, "Oh, it's overpriced, and it's overpopulated, and it stinks like piss, and comics! — comics film specials here!" And they all open with a joke about, "Yeah, you spend 8 thousand dollars a month for 9 square feet!" And you go, "Well, why do you fucking live here?" Why do people stay here?.. But unfortunately, this is where comedy works — where people are the most miserable. Like, I'd rather be filming a special on a beach in Costa Rica in a tiki bar right now, but they don't need comedians, they're already smiling, they're already happy — naturally! So that's why I'm doing a special here — cause it's the last fucking place I wanna be.

Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama When I visited Costa Rica earlier this year, I saw how a country can develop successfully without an army, to become a stable democracy committed to peace and the protection of the natural environment. This confirmed my belief that my vision of Tibet in the future is a realistic plan, not merely a dream.

Costa Rica topics

Costa Rica news

  • 8 January 2010: Costa Rican volcano erupts, alert issued
  • 19 November 2009: Uruguay qualify to take last spot in 2010 FIFA World Cup
  • 6 October 2009: Former Costa Rican president sentenced to jail on charges of corruption
  • 13 August 2009: President of Costa Rica contracts H1N1 swine flu
  • 22 July 2009: Poland win 2-1 against Costa Rica in Group A
  • 22 July 2009: Germany wins, 4-2 over Costa Rica in first World Cup match
  • 22 July 2009: Ecuador make short work of Costa Rica in Group A
  • 11 May 2009: Wikinews Shorts: May 11, 2009
  • 22 March 2009: "The Dark Knight" film director's brother arrested for murder, kidnapping
  • 10 January 2009: Strongest earthquake in 150 years hits Costa Rica

Did you know...

...John Biehl, a Chilean government minister in the 1990s, led the successful campaign for Costa Rican president Óscar Arias to ...

...that the slogan Juan Valdez drinks Costa Rican coffee, popular on bumper sticker s in Costa Rica, prompted a lawsuit from Federación ...

...that one of the oldest churches in Costa Rica, Iglesia de Nuestra Senora de la Limpia Concepcion, built in the 1560s in ...

...that the Irazú Volcano in Costa Rica erupted violently in 1963, on the day U.S. President John F. Kennedy arrived in the country for ...

...that Tortuguero National Park is the third-most visited park in Costa Rica, despite the fact that it can only be reached by ...

...that Inca Dove is a small New World dove that ranges from the southwestern United States and Mexico through Central America to Costa Rica?.. ...

...that Pancha Carrasco became Costa Rica's first woman in the military by joining the defending forces at the Battle of Rivas rifle in ...

...that the Landmarks Foundation helps conserve sacred sites such as the stone spheres of Costa Rica and the moai of Easter Island? ...


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Selected biography

Francisco Rodríguez Barrientos (born 1956) is a Costa Rican writer and sociologist.

Francisco Rodríguez Barrientos was born in 1956. He grew in San Carlos, a rural county in the northern plains of Costa Rica. He holds a doctorate degree from the University of Ciego de Avila, Cuba, and a licentura (Sociology) from the University of Costa Rica. Rodriguez teaches sociology at the Instituto Tecnologico de Costa Rica. Although he has published articles and books on sociological elements of development, he is mostly known as writer of aphorisms and poems.

The corpus of aphorism's books of Rodríguez Barrientos includes, among others, the following titles: "Tardes de domingo" (Ediciones Perro Azul, 2003), "El ángel de la salmuera" (Ediciones Perro Azul, 2004), "Serpigo" (Ediciones Perro Azul, 2005), "Fauces" (Ediciones Arboleda, 2006) and "El sopor de la canícula" (Ediciones Arboleda, 2007).

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