Costa Rica Culture Paper

Table of Content

If you want to visit a Latin American country, there are many options available. However, my top recommendation is Costa Rica. This small and beautiful country has a rich blend of cultural and physical attractions. But don’t just take my word for it – see for yourself! Let me provide you with some general information about Costa Rica. Currently, it has a population of 4,500,000 people and spans a national territory of 31,682 square miles. In comparison, the United States is approximately 3.79 million square miles in size, making Costa Rica relatively compact. The capital city, San Jose, is located near the country’s center.

Costa Rica is a country that has Spanish as its official language and their currency is called colon, which was named after Christopher Columbus. The country’s official religion is Catholicism; however, freedom of belief is allowed. Similar to America, Costa Rica operates under a democratic political system where officials are elected. Its national bird, known as Yiguirro or Turdus Grayi, and the Purple Guaria Orchid hold the titles of national bird and flower respectively. Furthermore, the national tree of Costa Rica is identified as Guanacaste or Enterolobium cyclocarpum. In terms of climate, Costa Rica experiences two distinct seasons: a rainy season from May to November and a dry season from December to April.

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The average temperature in the central valley is 72 degrees Fahrenheit, while temperatures in the beaches and coastal areas range from 70 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. There are three major airports in the country: The Juan Santamaria International Airport is situated in Alajuela, just 10 minutes away from the capital. The Daniel Oduber Quiros International Airport is located in Liberia, Guanacaste province. In Pavas, you can find the Tobias Bolanos Airport which handles domestic flights. All this information can be found at Places of interest.

When visiting a new country, the primary focus is usually on finding attractions. Costa Rica offers numerous options for an enjoyable vacation. • The Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve creates a mysterious ambiance as it is surrounded by clouds. This distinct rainforest, with its 100 percent high humidity, serves as a habitat for diverse animal and plant species. Arenal, one of Costa Rica’s most active volcanoes, presents a captivating spectacle. In the town of La Fortuna, located near the volcano’s base, visitors can unwind in hot springs. Corcovado National Park and Drake Bay have become popular destinations among nature and coastal enthusiasts alike. • Playa Dominical in Puntarenas entices tourists with its renowned surf beach. Positioned between Dominical and Ojochal towns, Costa Ballena has gained increasing popularity as a coastal destination known for its uncrowded beaches, pristine rainforest, and exceptional waves – considered some of the best worldwide. • The beach community of Nosara serves as an ideal vacation spot for both surfers and nature lovers.

The collaboration between the national park system and the local citizens association ensures the protection of Costa Rica’s pristine beaches and prevents disruptive small-scale development in the protected forest. In San Jose’s highlands, Grecia, Sarchi, and San Ramon towns provide an opportunity to experience Tico culture and escape urban life. Sarchi is famous for its intricate wooden handicrafts. More information can be found at On the Caribbean coast, African influence is evident through rhythmic percussion like sinkit, while the marimba is a popular instrument in Costa Rican music. Groups such as Cantares have played a significant role in promoting Costa Rican folk music and leading the New Costa Rican Song movement. Furthermore, Costa Rica’s pre-Columbian population has contributed greatly to the country’s folk heritage, with well-known traditions originating from Guanacaste region on the Peninsula of Nicoya.

Popular Afro-Caribbean music such as rumba, calypso, and reggae is widely enjoyed in Costa Rica. While traditional instruments like ocarinas are being replaced by internationally recognized ones like accordions and guitars in most parts of the country, there are still regional folk styles outside of Guanacaste. Examples include Talamanca’s Danza de los Huelos and Boruca’s Danza de los Diablitos. Guanacaste is the primary region for Costa Rican folk music, particularly for pre-Columbian styles like the Chorotega’s Danza del Sol and Danza de la Luna. These styles have also brought attention to ancient instruments like the quijongo (a single-string bow with a gourd resonator) and the native oboe known as the chirimia.

Although Costa Rica does not have a prominent rhythm or style in popular music, nor a significant literary or artistic tradition, there have been exceptions throughout its history. One notable example is the Costa Rican landscape school of painting in the 1920s. However, in the late 1980s, local artists and bands emerged with their own original material, gaining fame both domestically and internationally. Notable figures include Jose Capmany, Cafe con Leche, and Inconsciente Colectivo. Some of these artists even attracted fans from outside of Costa Rica, such as Editus, a Grammy-winning contemporary jazz ensemble.

During that period, a popular Latin genre called chiqui-chiqui, led by bands like Los Hicsos and La Banda, gained popularity. Chiqui-chiqui was a commercially-oriented music style that eventually faded away. However, since the late 90’s, a newer rock style has emerged and been embraced by Costa Rican youth. This genre is led by bands such as Gandhi, Evolucion, Alma Bohemia, and Kadeho. Today, Malpais, a band from the guanacaste-area, holds a prominent position in the Costa Rican rock and music scene.

They combine traditional Costa Rican folk and Latin music with jazz and rock, resulting in considerable success in Costa Rica and neighboring countries. More information can be found at: http://www. costaricaninsider. com/costa-rica-music. html

Typical dishes in Costa Rica primarily include rice and beans, complemented with ingredients such as chicken or fish and various vegetables. As a result, these dishes are very affordable. The most popular choice for breakfast is Gallo Pinto, a mix of rice and black beans served with natilla (sour cream), scrambled eggs, and fried plantains.

In Costa Rica, it is typical for people to have a cup of coffee or fresh fruit juice with their meals. One popular dish for lunch is Casados, which includes beans, rice, meat or fish, and a salad. Additionally, fried plantains, white cheese, and corn tortillas are served. The main difference between Gallo Pinto and Casado is that in Casados the rice and beans are served side by side rather than mixed together. Another traditional Costa Rican dish is arroz con pollo – chicken with rice. This dish can be enjoyed with local vegetables such as camote, chayote, and yuca. As Costa Rica is located near the Pacific and Caribbean oceans, seafood is frequently consumed in the country.

Bocas, also known as small dishes served before or in between meals, offer a range of options. These choices encompass black bean dip, chimichurri (a blend of tomatoes and onions marinated in lime juice) accompanied by tortilla chips, or ceviche (fish or shrimp mixed with onion marinated in lime juice). Another alternative is the tamale, which comprises seasoned cornmeal wrapped in plantain leaves and filled with rice, beans, vegetables, and meat. Additionally, traditional sweet corn dishes such as pozol (corn soup) or chorreadas (corn pancakes) are widely enjoyed. Moreover, popular soups include olla de carne (a beef soup with potatoes, carrots, chayote squash, plantains, and yucca), along with sopa negra (black bean soup).

Costa Rica is known for its delightful desserts, such as Tres Leches cake made with a combination of evaporated, condensed, and regular milk. Coconut is also commonly utilized in Costa Rican sweets (source:

The government of Costa Rica is implementing a coastal and marine strategy to regulate activities like tourism and fishing to address ecological and social issues impacting the coasts. This includes addressing problems like overfishing, pollution, and the impacts of climate change. To establish order along the coasts, a guide has been created (source:

In 2011, the UN International Court of Justice issued an order for Nicaragua and Costa Rica to maintain distance between their troops near a disputed river border. Furthermore, on March 2nd, 2013, strong windstorms destroyed the residence of a family consisting of four members.

The community rallied together to support the family by organizing a fundraiser, which resulted in raising 460 US dollars or 230,000 colon. This close-knit community collaborates to assist those in need in regaining their independence. For more information, please visit

In certain countries, currency is perceived as a luxury that proves challenging to acquire. It is difficult for us Americans to fathom yearning for just one American dollar since we typically take it for granted. Many of us have never experienced the desperation of enduring days or weeks without food. The perpetual hunger would consume us both metaphorically and physically, resulting in emaciation. As citizens of the United States of America, we often overlook the significance of what we possess. We assume that essential necessities such as water, electricity, and groceries will always be within reach. Take a moment to attempt comprehending the unimaginable reality of opening your kitchen only to discover a rusted stove and potentially an incompletely functional refrigerator.

The idea is honestly beyond my understanding as I have never considered it before. Unlike other nations where money is seen as a luxury, in America, it is an essential requirement for daily life. Without having a dollar bill, progress in this country would be significantly hindered. Our society was built on the foundation of money and it serves as the driving force behind everything. In contrast, Costa Rica does not experience extreme poverty like some countries despite being less influenced by financial aspects than America. According to the currency exchange conducted on, currently one American dollar equals ₡499.40 Costa Rican colon.

People from diverse regions across the globe have entered the television industry and sought out greater opportunities. It is surprising to learn that certain individuals, despite their backgrounds, have achieved remarkable success. If you are familiar with the popular TV show Glee, then you undoubtedly know about Mike Chang, the exceptionally talented Asian dancer character. Interestingly enough, this young actor and dancer hails from Costa Rica, a fact that may not be immediately evident. Additionally, many people may not realize that he also starred in the films Step Up 2 the Streets and Step Up 3D. As a teenage girl, all of these shows hold a special place among my favorites.

Despite Harry Shum Jr.’s inclination to fade into the background, he managed to infuse all three shows with a vibrant dancing atmosphere. His outstanding performance in “Glee” (2009) earned him a nomination for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series alongside his crew, and he ultimately won one award. If you’re searching for an amazing travel destination, look no further than Costa Rica. With its plentiful attractions and captivating history, you’ll never find yourself confined to indoor activities. Take a trip there and embrace the excitement that life has to offer.

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Costa Rica Culture Paper. (2016, Sep 17). Retrieved from

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