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Welcome to Costa Rica

Celebrating Costa Rica’s Independence Day –

September 15, 2020

In honor of Costa Rica’s independence, we are pleased to share with you a brief overview of the country’s history with key dates and photos of its spectacular natural beauty.

Photo Courtesy of Kim Haas

Costa Rica (rich coast), is an isthmus connecting North and South America.  It is one of seven independent countries, forming “Central America” (Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama).

Photo Courtesy of Spencer Lewis (Kim’s dad)

Boundaries
The mighty Pacific Ocean, the earth’s largest waterway, on the north; the calm tranquil Caribbean Sea, flowing into the Atlantic Ocean, on the east; in the north, Nicaragua, and on the south is Panama.

Photo Courtesy of Kim Haas

Climate   
Tropical weather with temperatures from 18C (64F) to 27C (81F); it is frost free, with 2 distinct seasons:

            1. Rainy: May-November, drenching tropical rain downpours

            2. Dry: April-November

Plus    
Costa Rica is less than 700 miles (@1100 km) from the Equator, earth’s imaginary center.

At the Summit of Irazu Volcano, on a clear day, one can see both the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. At the Summit, seventy-six miles separate the 2 bodies of water.

Costa Rica is one of the most densely bio-diverse countries in the world.  Its stunning panoramas present picturesque visual feasts. With this distinction come magnificent, breathtaking views of: national parks, waterways, jungles, volcanoes, mountains, cloud forests, coral reefs, mangroves, rain forest, wetlands, swamps, lagoons, islands and beaches, with sands ranging in color from white to black. 

Photo Courtesy of Kim Haas

Also, the country has an extensive array of 500,000 species of fauna, including varieties of insects, reptiles, mammals, and marine life.  There are more than 1,500 types of butterflies and 50 of the worlds 340 species of humming birds. The country’s flora is plentiful, with more than 1,300 varieties of orchids.      

Photo Courtesy of Spencer Lewis (Kim’s dad)

Noteworthy Dates
1502   
Christopher Columbus arrived, Isla Uvita (near Port of Limón) First enslaved Africans brought to Costa Rica

1821   
Independence from Spain

1824   
Enslavement (slavery) abolished

1871/72
Construction began on 100 mile San José to Limón railroad; took 20 years to complete

1872
Jamaicans, in the thousands, came to Limón; worked as contract workers (were not enslaved) on the railroad, banana and cocoa plantations

1882   
Death penalty abolished

1948   
African descendants become Afro-Costa Rican citizens

1949   
Abolished military/armed forces. 
Military budget used for security, education and culture

Costa Rica
-Former Spanish colony
-Spanish speaking nation
-Religion Roman Catholic
-Population 5.5 million 
-San José, capital and largest city, population of 335,000 

Photo Courtesy of Spencer Lewis (Kim’s dad)

Today, September 15, begins the celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month and its roots extend as far back as 1968. Each year, a celebration takes place on this day.  It is the anniversary of independence for five Latin American countries who declared their independence in 1821: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua.  In addition, Mexico, Chile and Belize also celebrate their independence days during this period.

Photo Courtesy of Kim Haas

To learn more about Costa Rica, please visit: https://www.visitcostarica.com/en

Photo Courtesy of Kim Haas

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