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Costa Rica

Although explored by the Spanish early in the 16th century, initial attempts at colonizing Costa Rica proved unsuccessful due to a combination of factors, including: disease from mosquito-infested swamps, brutal heat, resistance by natives, and pirate raids. It was not until 1563 that a permanent settlement of Cartago was established in the cooler, fertile central highlands. The area remained a colony for some two and a half centuries. In 1821, Costa Rica became one of several Central American provinces that jointly declared their independence from Spain. Two years later it joined the United Provinces of Central America, but this federation disintegrated in 1838, at which time Costa Rica proclaimed its sovereignty and independence. Since the late 19th century, only two brief periods of violence have marred the country's democratic development. Although it still maintains a large agricultural sector, Costa Rica has expanded its economy to include strong technology and tourism industries. The standard of living is relatively high. Land ownership is widespread.

Languages & Population

Approximate Population: 4,133,884 (July 2007 est.)

Nationality (Noun): Costa Rican(s)

Nationality (Adjective): Costa Rican

Official Language(s): Spanish

Major Languages Spoken: English, Spanish

Map of Costa Rica

Country Facts

Country Name (long form): Republic of Costa Rica

Country Name (short form): Costa Rica

Country Name (local long form): Republica de Costa Rica

Country Name (local short form): Costa Rica

Name of Capital: San Jose

UTC Time Difference (from capital): UTC-6 (1 hour behind Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Countries Near by, and Bordering Costa Rica: Panama, Nicaragua

Land Area: 50660 sq km

Water Area: 440 sq km

Comparative Area: slightly smaller than West Virginia

Total Land Boundry: 639 km

Coastline: 1,290 km

National Holiday: Independence Day, 15 September (1821)

International Phone Code: 506

Currency Code: Costa Rican colon (CRC)

Internet Country Code: .cr

US Embassy Location: Calle 120 Avenida O, Pavas, San Jose

US Embassy Mailing Address: APO AA 34020

 

Costa Rica flag

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