Costa Rica culture has a rich heritage which is beautiful and friendly and has made the country one of the most popular in Central America for ecotourism. It is about the size of Vermont and New Hampshire combined and is sandwiched between Nicaragua and Panama. Costa Rica is full of history, tradition and culture that is known well and practiced by its population of just over 4 million.
Outside Settlement began in 1522 by the Spanish, 20 years after Christopher Columbus first discovered the area. For 300 years, Costa Rica was under Spanish rule. Then in 1821, many of the countries in this area joined together to separate themselves from Spanish rule and influence. Except for a few short sporadic uprisings, Costa Rica has enjoyed a democratic government for over 150 years.
The “Pura Vida” lifestyle is prevalent today as a laid-back attitude exists throughout the entire country. “Pura Vida” can be interpreted as a “everything is great today” feeling. This phrase is uttered by tourists, citizens, young and old alike each and every day! You will hear it a lot and, at times, is said instead of “hello” and “goodbye”. Life is slower and less complicated in Costa Rica and “Pura Vida” reflects that overall feeling of “it’s all good”.
Most “Ticos” are conservative individuals, keep to themselves and are very family oriented. They go out of their way to avoid confrontation… sometimes to a fault. The Costa Rican people are very social and enjoy gatherings and events. The country offers a quality educational system with many colleges and universities in the Central Valley area.
Many foreigners have really grown to love this country and its culture. Everything in Costa Rica points towards doing things and enjoying life in moderation. Peace and compromise are the buzz words here. Respect for authority abounds as opposed to other Central American countries which offer a culture full of extremes and excesses.
As an American living or visiting in Costa Rica, you will be welcome with open arms. The Costa Rican people appreciate it when one tries to learn and speak their language. It is taken as a sign of respect and they interpret your effort to learn Spanish as a step towards joining their rich heritage and will warm up to you even quicker than usual!
Take time to learn about the history, heritage and Costa Rica culture and you’ll come to fully appreciate these beautiful people. You will no doubt enjoy your stay even more when you know how this amazing way of life came about.