About Costa Rica

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Costa Rica.

Learn interesting facts About Costa Rica, its climate. health care, biodiversity, Education, and Geography, go deep into history. Costa Rica is a country with a high natural diversity and very diverse in its culture, people, history, and geography. Costa Rica has two coasts and on the Caribbean coast we find English speakers of Jamaican origin. The topography in the country is quite irregular with high mountains, with drastic changes in temperature, elevation, and precipitation. Giving rise to a great variety of ecosystems that are found throughout the country

The first natives in Costa Rica were hunters and gatherers, and Costa Rica served as an “Intermediate Region” between Mesoamerica and the Andes.
In 1502 Christopher Columbus arrives in Costa Rica. Soon after, his forces overcame the indigenous people. He incorporated the territory into the captaincy General of Guatemala as a province of New Spain in 1524. For the next 300 years, Costa Rica was a colony of Spain. In 1821, the news of independence was sent to all the territories of New Spain, including the Intendancies of the former Captaincy of Guatemala. Costa Rica joined the other Central American Intendancies in a joint declaration of independence from Spain, the 1821 Act of Independence.

Costa Rica is a small country of 51.000 square kilometers, located in southern Central America between Nicaragua, to the north, and Panama, to the east. It is divided into seven provinces, as follows; Guanacaste and Puntarenas, mostly or entirely on the Pacific slope; Cartago and Limon, mostly or entirely on the Caribbean slope; and Alajuela, Heredia and San Jose, each with significant portions on both slopes. The seven provincial capitals are the principal cities of the country

Geography

Costa Rica lies 10 degrees north of the equator and is part of the bridge that links North America to South America. Because of this geographic placement and a favorable tropical climate, we find a tremendously diverse ecosystem containing endemic species as well as flora and fauna characteristics of both continents. It is situated between two oceans, The Atlantic and the Pacific, with the countries of Nicaragua to the north and Panama to the south.

Mountain Ranges

The Axial cordillera of Costa Rica consists of four separate, slightly offset ranges, of distinct character. The northernmost of these, The Cordillera de Guanacaste, is a loosely connected chain of volcanoes of moderate height, separated by comparatively low passes. The Meseta Volcánica de Santa Rosa is a broad plateau of volcanic rocks at the base of the Cordillera de Guanacaste, extending southward to the vicinity of Cañas.

The Cordillera de Tilaran extends from near the town of the same name southeastward to the Montes del Aguacate, between San Ramon and Atenas. The Cordillera de Tilaran is both the shortest and lowest of the four major chains; the highest point is Cerro Los Amigos (1842 m), in Monteverde

The Cordillera Central is home to the most imposing and familiar Costa Rican volcanoes (northwest to southeast): Volcan Poas, Volcano Barba, and of the continental divide on the Caribbean side, Volcan Irazu, and Volcan Turrialba

The Cordillera de Talamanca, extending from near Cartago southeastward into Panama, is the most extensive upland region in Costa Rica, with the highest summits. The Pacific slope of the Cordillera de Talamanca is, in general, much steeper than the Caribbean slope. The highest Talamanca peaks are Cerro Chirripó (3819 m), the highest in the country, and Cerro Kamuk (3549 m), lying off the Continental divide to the Caribbean side.

Climate

topography lends itself to a remarkable range of climate conditions. The wet and the dry seasons are controlled largely by the northeast trade winds, the mountain chains running like a backbone down the length of Costa Rica, and the doldrums, a tropical zone of rising air that follows the sun north and south. The dry season, referred to as summer (Verano, in Spanish), is usually December to April in San Jose and the west and until May in Guanacaste. It is during this period that the Guanacaste region may receive no moisture at all. The east coast is driest from February to April, although there is no definite dry season due to the moisture-laden trade winds coming from North America´s northeastern, discharging moisture against the Cordilleras.

Education

The Ministerio de Educacion or Ministry of Education is responsible for regulating education for all of Costa Rica. Several articles in the Constitution of Costa Rica ensure the integrity of this system. Article 79 guarantees the freedom of education, Article 80 decrees that the government should stimulate private education. Jose Maria Castro, the country’s first elected president was also a teacher, and because of his reforms and that of subsequent presidents, in 1869 Costa Rica became the first country in the world where education became free and obligatory. Many of Costa Rica’s leaders have also been educators and have placed great emphasis on the expansion of primary and secondary education.
Costa Rica is considered to have one of the best educational systems in Latin America. Every community has an Elementary and a High School. Upon completion of high school, the student will receive a title in “Letras” (similar to “Arts”) or in “Ciencias” (“Science). All public schools use this system, but private grammar and high schools utilize an American or European system. Public school students are required to wear official uniforms in order to reduce the social and economic distinctions between students.

Biodiversity

With a land area of only 51.100 km2 (0.03% of the planet’s surface) and 589.000 km2 of territorial waters, Costa Rica is considered to be one of the 20 countries with the greatest biodiversity in the world. Its geographic position, its two coasts, and its mountainous system, which provides numerous and varied microclimates, are some of the reasons that explain this natural wealth, both in terms of species and ecosystems. The more than 500,000 species that are found in this small country represent nearly 4% of the total species estimated worldwide. Of these 500,000 species, just over 300,000 are insects.

A little over 25% of the country’s territory is under some category of protection, and this percentage is increasing thanks to the support of the private sector, which has created many private reserves dedicated mainly to ecotourism and research. This is a conservation effort that few countries in the world have undertaken and in which Costa Rica has invested substantial resources for the well-being of present and future generations

Health Care

Costa Rica has no army and combined with its long-standing commitment to the social and educational welfare of its citizens has produced a highly developed medical system. Currently Costa Rica assigns about 10% of its GNP to health care. The result is a physician for every 700 people and a hospital bed for every 275. Costa Rica is well known throughout the world for high quality, low-cost health care and procedures for cosmetic plastic surgery or life-saving operations like bypass and heart transplants, Dental work, from fillings to implants, is done routinely on people from every corner of the world. People from all over Latin America actually plan their medical needs–from hip replacement to heart valve replacement–to be taken care of by the well-trained and skillful physicians in Costa Rica rather than in their native countries. Costa Rica’s health care system, with well-equipped modern clinics and hospitals.

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