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Costa Rica Culture Paper

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    Ever wanted to go south to a Latin American country? Well there is plenty to choose from but my best pick of where to go would be to this little, beautiful country culturally and physically, called Costa Rica. You don’t believe me, huh? Decide for yourself. Costa Rica’s general information Costa Rica is currently at the population of 4,500,000. The national territory is 31,682 square miles. If you compare that to size of the United States at 3. 79 million square miles, its a very small piece of land. The capital is San Jose located in almost the middle of the country.

    Spanish is the official language, like many of the other surrounding countries. Their currency is called colon which was named after Christopher Columbus. Catholic is their official religion although they do allow freedom of other beliefs. The Political system is a democracy in which they elect officials like America. Their national bird is the Yiguirro, also known as Turdus Grayi. The national flower is Purple Guaria Orchid. Along with that they have a national tree which is the Guanacaste, or the Enterolobium cyclocarpum. Costa Rica has two main seasons, a rainy season from May to November and a dry season from December to April.

    The average temperature for the central valley is 72 degrees Fahrenheit, while on the beaches and costal areas it ranges from 70 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. The country has three major airports: The Juan Santamaria International Airport is located in Alajuela 10 minutes from the capital, and the Daniel Oduber Quiros International Airport in Liberia, in the province of Guanacaste. In Pavas, there is the Tobias Bolanos Airport, which handles domestic flights. All information was found at: http://www. guiascostarica. com/info. htm Places of interest

    The first thing you look for when you visit a new country is what there is to do there. Costa Rica has many attractions for a lovely vacation. • Shrouded in clouds, the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve has a unique air of mystery to it. A distinctive mountain rainforest where the humidity is typically 100 percent, Monteverde is home to very many different species of animals and plants. One of the most active volcanoes in Costa Rica, Arenal is a sight to see. Visit La Fortuna, a tiny town near the base of the volcano where they have a Hot Spring where you can relax. The Corcovado National Park, together with Drake Bay, has become a tourist place for those who have a love for nature and the coast. • Located in Puntarenas, Playa Dominical is a tourist destination because of its world famous surf beach. Specifically a region between the beach towns of Dominical and Ojochal, Costa Ballena, is becoming an increasingly popular beach destination. With lowly populated beaches, untouched rain forest and, some of the most consistent waves in the world. • Nosara is a beach community, ideal for a surfer or nature lover’s vacation.

    This corner of Costa Rica has had both the protection of the national park system, as well as the efforts of the local citizens association that keep the beaches pristine and make sure hundreds of acres of protected forest is not interfered with by small-scale development. • Located in the highlands of San Jose, the picturesque towns of Grecia, Sarchi and San Ramon provides an escape from city life. Communities to get an up close view of Tico culture, places like Sarchi are known for its intricate and artistic wooden handicrafts. All information found at: http://www. ovisitcostarica. com/travelInfo/10-top-destinations. asp Music The Caribbean coast has a strong African influence in percussion rhythms like sinkit. The marimba is a very popular instrument, and Costa Rican marimba music is very popular. Now days, groups like Cantares have helped to make Costa Rican folk music more popular, and were a leading part of the New Costa Rican Song movement. Costa Rica’s pre-Columbian population has contributed a big part of the country’s folk heritage. The Guanacaste region, in the Peninsula of Nicoya, is home to the best-known folk traditions.

    Afro-Caribbean music like rumba, calypso and reggae are popular. In most of Costa Rica, ancient instruments like ocarinas are being replaced by international instruments like accordions and guitars. There are still folk styles, outside of Guanacaste, such as the Talamanca’s Danza de los Huelos and the Boruca’s Danza de los Diablitos. Guanacaste is the major regin for Costa Rican folk music, especially pre-Columbian styles like the Danza del Sol and Danza de la Luna of the Chorotega, who also made popular the ancient quijongo (a single-string bow and gourd resonator) and native oboe, the chirimia.

    Costa Rica’s population never developed a major rhythm or style that became a major part of popular music, and Costa Rica has not produced a great literary or other artistic tradition. There have been exceptions, such as the Costa Rican landscape school of painting in the 1920s. In the late 1980s local artists and bands became famous for having their own original material, such as Jose Capmany, Cafe con Leche and Inconsciente Colectivo; some of them had fans from outside of Costa Rica, like Editus, a Grammy winning contemporary jazz ensemble.

    At that time a popular Latin genre developed, chiqui-chiqui as it was known, led by bands such as Los Hicsos and La Banda. Chiqui-chiqui was a commercial approach to music and soon disappeared. From the late 90’s to present time, there has emerged a newer rock style led by bands such as Gandhi, Evolucion, Alma Bohemia, and Kadeho, all of which have been accepted positively by Costa Rican youths. Malpais, a band emerging from the guanacaste-area, is one of the central bands of the Costa Rican rock and music scene of today.

    They mix traditional Costa Rican folk and Latin music with jazz and rock and has had great success in Costa Rica and the surrounding countries. All information found at: http://www. costaricaninsider. com/costa-rica-music. html Typical dishes Most traditional dishes in Costa Rica consist of rice and beans with other ingredients like chicken or fish and different sorts of vegetables, making them really cheap. The most common dish for breakfast is Gallo Pinto which consists of rice mixed in with black beans, served with natilla (sour cream), eggs (scrambled) and fried plantain.

    Costa Ricans typically serve a cup of coffee or fresh fruit juice with it. For lunch, Casados (beans, rice) are served with some kind of meat or fish and a salad, fried plantains, white cheese and corn tortilla. The difference between a Gallo Pinto and a Casado is that in Casados, rice and the bean are served side by side and not mixed. Another typical main dish in Costa Rica is arroz con pollo, that is rice with chicken, which can be served with different vegetables from the area like camote, chayote and yuca. Seafood is also common because of the country’s closeness to both the Pacific and Caribbean oceans.

    Small dishes before or in between meals are called Bocas. This is commonly black bean dip, chimichurri (tomatoes and onions in lime juice) served with tortilla chips or ceviche (fish or shrimp with onion in lime juice). Another dish is the tamale which is a seasoned corn meal which is covered in plantains leaves. In the inside it has rice, beans, vegetables and meat. There are also other traditional sweet corn dishes like pozol (corn soup) or chorreadas (corn pancakes). Soups are also very popular  such as olla de carne which is a soup with beef, potatoes, carrots, chayote, plantains and yucca, and the sopa negra, black bean soup.

    One of the most common desserts is called Tres Leches, a cake bathed in evaporated, condensed and regular milk with a whipped cream top. In Costa Rican’s desserts coconut is a very popular ingredient. All information found at: http://www. costaricaguides. com/articles/costa_rica_traditional_food. html Current Major events The government hopes to better regulate coastal activities such as tourism and fishing as part of a coastal and marine strategy this year. “We’re on the verge of ecological and social collapse along our coasts, and there is no excuse for ignoring the work that needs to be done,” Chaves told The Tico Times. We are alarmed about overfishing, pollution and the effects of climate change. This guide is a valuable tool to establish order along our coasts. ” (http://www. ticotimes. net/Current-Edition/Top-Story/Will-guide-help-on-chaotic-coasts-_Friday-March-15-2013) The first step for officials is establishing marine spatial planning that is adapted to the economic, social, environmental and topographical realities of Costa Rica. In 2011 the UN International Court of Justice ordered Nicaragua and Costa Rica to keep troops back from a disputed river border. On March 2nd, 2013 a family of four’s house was blown away from strong windstorms.

    The community heard their story and decided to help. A fundraiser was held and they got a total of 460 US dollars which is 230,000 colon. The community is very close and when one of them is hurting it seems as if the whole community is until the people are back on their own two feet. All information found on: http://www. ticotimes. net/Current-Edition/Top-Story/Community-rallies-to-help-family_Friday-March-15-2013 Currency Some people can only imagine having money in other countries equal to that of one American dollar. Could you imagine that? Just wishing to have one dollar, wanting that little bit of money that we, as Americans, take for ranted in our everyday life. Most of us have no idea what its like to hurt for money so bad that you go days, or weeks without eating. The hunger would you be eating you alive, literally. Especially if that was a common occurrence, you would be nothing but skin and bone. In life, as citizens of The United States of America, we take everything for granted. Even just our necessities like water, electric, and our groceries, we expect to be there. Could you imagine going into your kitchen and there being nothing but a rusted old stove and maybe a some-what refrigerator.

    I will be honest, I cant imagine it because that is something that I never thought about. In other countries money is yet another luxury, yet in America it is a necessity to live life. Without that dollar bill you can’t get anywhere in this country. We were built on money, and its what we run on. Costa Rica is not as overran by money as America but they still don’t have a poverty rate like some of the other countries. The exchange rate for one American dollar to colon is $1. 00=? 499. 40 currency exchange rate done at: http://www. xe. com/currencyconverter/ Current Famous person

    People come from all different regions of the world and make it on television and go onto so much bigger things. Some of them you would never expect it simply because of where they’re from. Just about everyone knows what Glee is right? Well, you know the character Mike Chang then. He’s the asian guy who is amazing at dancing. This young actor and dancer is originally from Costa Rica. You never would have guessed it would you? Another thing nobody really noticed is that he was in Step Up 2 the Streets and Step Up 3D. All of these shows are definitely some of my favorite as a teenage girl.

    Although he always seemed like he was disappearing n the background he brought a great dancing atmosphere to all three shows. I wonder if your wondering what his real name is. His real name is Harry Shum Jr. He has won one award after being nominated with his crew for it twice. Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series for: “Glee” (2009). Costa Rica is an excellent place to stay. With its many attractions and the rich history of its country you’ll never be indoors. Why not take a trip, have a little visit? Life is an adventure, don’t make it one without any excitement.

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