Costa Rica Essay, Research Paper
by Brandon Noll
Costa Rica’s official language is Spanish. And nearly all Costa Ricans speak
Spanish, but many blacks still speak a Jamaican dialect (local form) of English. About per
cent of the people belong to the Roman Catholic Church. The basic money unit is the
colon which is worth about a penny in the U.S. The total land area is 19,730 sq. mi. In
Costa Rica there are three main land regions: the Central Highlands, the Carribean
Lowlands and the Pacific Coastal Strip. The Central Highlands have lots of fertile
farmland, 75% of Costa Rica’s people live here. The rich volcanic soil and favorable
climate make this region the country’s chief coffee growing region. Daytime temperatures
range from 75 degrees to 80 degrees Fahrenheit the year round. The Caribbean Lowlands,
a wide band of swampy tropical jungles, lie along the east coast. The daytime high
temperature averages about 100 degrees Fahrenheit. The Pacific Coastal Strip is largely an
area of lowlands along the west coast. Low mountains rise along most of the shore. This
region has an ideal climate for growing bananas. Daytime temperatures range from 77 to
100 degree Fahrenheit. The annual rainfall is about 100 inches. Nicaragua borders Costa
Rica to the north. Panama borders the south. On the west border is the Pacific Ocean.
On the east border is the Caribbean Sea which is in the Atlantic Ocean. The 1994 estimate
of Costa Rica’s population is 2,100,000 people. The capital of Costa Rica is San Jose
which has a population of 560,000(94′). Three other important cities are Cartago with a
population of 23,928(93′), Puntarenas with a population of 28,640(93′), and Limon with a
population of 42,082(93′).
What is the history of Costa Rica? Indians were the first people to live in what is
now Costa Rica. In 1000ad the Corobici had settled in northern valleys and Boruca had
migrated to land in the south. The Carib, Chorotega, and Nahau Indians arrived in the
1400’s. Most Indians raised crops near villages and hunted small game. Christopher
Columbus arrived in Costa Rica in 1502. Rumor of gold deposits brought many Spaniards
to the land. But there was little mineral wealth. So, many ended up staying to become
farmers, such as Juan Vasquez de Coronado who founded the first permanent settlement at
Cartago in 1564. Many Spaniards tried to enslave the Indians, but most of the tribes
fought fiercely to stay free. Costa Rica remained a Spanish colony until 1821. That year,
Costa Rica and Spain’s other Central American colonies broke away from Spanish rule.
They joined the Mexican Empire the next year. In 1823, the Central American states
withdrew from Mexico and formed the United Provinces of Central America. The union
began to collapse in 1838, and Costa Rica declared its independence. The fight for power
in Costa Rica was over if was going to have a communist government or a democratic
government. Well, it has been declared a democratic government since 1920. From 1963
to 1965, the volcano Irazu erupted and showered tons of ash over San Jose and the
surrounding countryside. The volcanic eruptions damaged the coffee crop and forced
thousands of people to abandon their homes.
Costa Rica’s most valuable natural resource is its fertile volcanic. Forests of oaks,
pines, and such tropical hardwoods as cederelas and mahoganies cover about one third of
the land. Costa Rica has small deposits of bauxite and manganese. The US is Costa Rica’s
major trading partner, Germany is the second. Costa Rica belongs to the Central American
Common Market, which is an economic union that was formed to stimulate trade.
Costa Rica’s economy heavily depends on foreign trade. Its agriculture consists of
growing bananas, raising beef cattle, growing cacao, corn, rice, sugar cane, and coffee
which is its leading export. Costa Rica’s manufacturing includes cement, clothing,
furniture, machinery, processed foods, textiles, and employs one fifth of the labor force.
Chief imports include petroleum, chemicals, and manufactured goods.
What foods do Costa Rican’s eat? The diet of most Costa Ricans includes beans,
coffee, corn, rice, and such tropical fruits as bananas, guaves,mangoes,oranges,and
pinapples. Most families also serve beef, fish, poultry, and many kinds of soups. They
often prepare tomales (ground pork and corn meal steamed in corn husks) and tortillas
(thin flat bread made from corn or wheat flower).
The national sport of Costa Rica is soccer. Basketball, tennis, and swimming are
also popular. Many Costa Ricans take part in colorful festivals on religious holidays.
Bullfights, fireworks, and masked parades attract thousands of Costa Ricans and foreign
tourists to San Jose during the annual Christmas festivals. Costa Ricas flag used by the
government, was adopted in 1848. The national flag has a coat of arms which almost
looks like a medallion. The coat of arms shows volcanoes, the Carribean Sea, and the
Pacific Ocean. Each star represents a province.