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Costa Rica


Anthem: Noble patria, tu hermosa bandera  
“Noble homeland, your beautiful flag”

Capital San José
Official languages Spanish
Demonym Costa Rican
Government Const. Democracy (President. Republic)
Independence from Spain (via Guatemala) September 15, 1821 / from the UPCA 1838
Area 51,100 km² (128th) /19,730 sq mi
Population July 2007 estimate 4,133,884 (119th)
Currency Costa Rican colón

[show-map id=’6′] Geography
Costa Rica is located on the Central American isthmus, It borders both the Caribbean Sea (to the east) and the North Pacific Ocean (to the west).  It is about the size of West Virginia and shares that state’s reputation for excellent whitewater kayaking/rafting opportunities.  Two of the country’s most renowned rivers in that regard are the Rio Pacuare and the Rio Reventazon.  Costa Rica also borders Nicaragua to the north and Panama to the south-southeast. The highest point in the country is Cerro Chirripó, at (12,500 ft), and is the fifth highest peak in Central America. The highest volcano in the country is the Irazú Volcano (11,257 ft).  Costa Rica also comprises several islands. Cocos Island stands out because of its distance from continental landmass from Puntarenas coast, but Calero Island is the largest island of the country.

The phrase “Pura Vida” (literally “Pure Life”) is a ubiquitous motto in Costa Rica.  Costa Rica boasts a varied history. Costa Rica was the point where the Mesoamerican and South American native cultures met. The northwest of the country, the Nicoya peninsula, was the southernmost point of Nahuatl cultural influence when the Spanish Conquistadores came in the sixteenth century. The center and southern portions of the country had Chibcha influences. The Atlantic coast, meanwhile, was populated with African workers during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Most afro Costa Ricans, however, derive from nineteenth-century Jamaican workers, brought in to work on the construction of railroads between the urban populations of the Central Plateau and the port of Limon on the Caribbean coast. Italian and Chinese immigrants also arrived at this time to work on railroad construction.  Costa Rican popular music genres include: an indigenous calypso scene which is distinct from the more widely-known Trinidadian calypso sound.  American and British music influences are popular among the youth, while dance-oriented genres like soca, salsa, bachata, merengue and cumbia have an appeal as well. Many dances and music of Costa Rica demonstrates an African, pre-Columbian, and Spanish influence.

*Content gathered from Wikipedia