Costa Rica is a country located in Central America that has a population of just over 4 million people. Costa Rica earns the title of a country as it is internationally recognized by other nations as well as international organizations such as the UN and the IMF. The status of a country accords Costa Rica some privileges such as participating in international discussions as well as entering into treaties with other countries.
Costa Rica's Location
Costa Rica is situated in the Central American region and shares its land borders with some countries such as Nicaragua and Ecuador. Costa Rica's colonial history contributed significantly to the present day shape of its boundaries. Costa Rica is also bordered by two large bodies of water: the Caribbean Sea which is found in the northeastern edge of the country and the Pacific Ocean situated in the country’s southwestern region. Due to its size, Costa Rica ranks as the world's 126th largest nation.
Costa Rica's History
Archaeologists discovered stone tools in Costa Rica that indicated human settlement was in the region for several centuries with different estimates placing the initial human settlement between 7000 and 10,000 BC. The name Costa Rica is attributed to the European explorers who visited the region with some historical records indicating that Christopher Columbus coined the name while others indicate that Gil González Dávila came up with the name. Costa Rica fell under Spanish control and was administered from Guatemala. Due to several factors such as the nation having insufficient gold and silver it lagged behind other Spanish territories in development. Costa Rica attained its independence after the Spanish army lost in a war that lasted from 1810 to 1821.
Costa Rica's Demographics
The Costa Rican capital, San Jose, is the largest city in the country with a population of approximately 335,007 individuals. Other large cities within the nation include Puerto Limon and Alajuela. The Costa Rican people are among some of the best educated in the region partially because the nation spends a significant portion of its budget on education than other nations around the world. A 2007 study by the University of Costa Rica indicated that nearly 70% of the nation's population belonged to the Roman Catholic faith which is the country's national religion. Even though the constitution establishes a national religion, it still guarantees the freedom of religion. Due to the long period the nation was under Spanish rule, Spanish is the dominant language spoken within the nation's borders. Spanish culture also significantly shaped the way of life of the Costa Rican people.
Famous Costa Ricans
A large number of Costa Rican people distinguished themselves due to their achievements with one notable example being Oscar Sánchez who won the Nobel Peace Prize because of his contribution to ending wars in the region. Costa Ricans have also distinguished themselves in several sports such as Paulo Watson who was a prolific footballer, and Nery Cardenas who won a gold medal in a 2012 athletics competition.