Costa Rica

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Costa Rica

Known for it's natural beauty and gracious people is a small country located in Central America. Located between the countries of Nicaragua and Panama, bordered by both the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea is a true gem, the Republic of Costa Rica. Located ten degrees north of the equator Costa Rica is in the tropics and even though it is a small country it has a very diverse landscape and a variety of weather as well.

One unusual aspect of Costa Rica is that the country has no army and instead of a national hero being a general it is a young barefoot campesino (farmer). Costa Rica prides on the idea that they have gained through evolution what other countries have tried to attain through revolution.

The first Spanish settlers arrived around the 1560's and upon their arrival they were shocked that the indigenous people were resistant to forced labor and there was no wealth of minerals. in 1522 there were an estimated 300,000 natives and by 1801 there were only 8,000 due to intertribal conflicts, wars with the Spanish, illness from the Old World, intermarriage, and the sale of natives as slaves to other countries.

Because Costa Rica was such a poor, neglected piece of the Spanish Empire the poverty gave rise to a simple life, with strong individualism, and an equality among social classes that contributed to the beginnings of democracy in Costa Rica.

Costa Rica's government is divided into three branches with a Supreme Election Tribunal in charge of elections which are held every four years. Costa Rica does have a large beauracy, the government produces electricity, runs the telephone service, the national banking system, builds houses, and distills liquor. About 14% of the population is employed by the government.

Today the population of Costa Rica is 3,710,558. The main agricultural resources are bananas, coffee, sugar, corn, rice, beans, potatoes, and timber. The main industries of Costa Rica are food processing, textiles and...
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