The day was September 18, 1502, and Columbus was making his fourth and final voyage to the New World.As he was setting anchor off shore, a crowd of local Carib Indians paddled out in canoes and greeted his crew warmly.The small Central American nation is home to incredible biodiversity and rich cultures, a passion for freedom, and a history of democracy, equality, and education for all.
The day was September 18, 1502, and Columbus was making his fourth and final voyage to the New World.
Only a few hundred thousand strong to begin with, none of these peoples lasted long after the dawn of Spanish colonialism.
Some fled, while many others perished from the deadly smallpox brought by the Spaniards.
Ruins of a large, ancient city complete with aqueducts were recently found east of San Jose, and some marvelously sophisticated gold and jade work was being wrought in the southwest as far back as 1,000 years ago.
Some archeological sites in the central highlands and Nicoya peninsula have shown evidence of influence from the Mexican Olmec and Nahuatl civilizations.
A nation with a long history of public services, including education and healthcare, available to all. Simple statistics cannot do justice to Costa Rica’s friendly people, stunning terrain, rich lands, and long history.
But the facts do paint a colorful picture of this Central American nation, where democracy has prevailed for more than 60 years, Catholicism is the state religion, the government is stable, and the environment is of great importance.Regrettably, only 1 percent of Costa's Rica's 3 million people are of indigenous heritage.An overwhelming 98 percent of the country is white, and those of Spanish descent call themselves Ticos.Parent: 11251 » Template: subcategory The happiest country in the world; a paradise for peace and biodiversity; a green beacon for environmental stewardship—Costa Rica is a country of many accolades.But Costa Rica’s history and culture extend far beyond the reach of international recognition.Before you book your Costa Rica vacation, why not brush up on this handy list of facts?The first European explorer to encounter Costa Rica was the Great Navigator himself, Christopher Columbus.Costa Rican culture is a vibrant blend of indigenous heritage and Spanish colonial influence, with a dash of Jamaican, Chinese, and other immigrant cultures lending character and customs.The result is a nation of laid-back, friendly, and happy people.It was under Mora's leadership that Costa Rican volunteers managed to repulse a would-be conqueror, the North American William Walker.Walker was a disgruntled southerner who thought that the United States should annex Central America and turn it into a slave state.