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Costa Rica (/ˌkɒstə ˈrkə/, US: /ˌkstə/ (About this soundlisten); Spanish: [ˈkosta ˈrika]; literally "Rich Coast"), officially the Republic of Costa Rica (Spanish: República de Costa Rica), is a sovereign state in Central America, bordered by Nicaragua to the north, the Caribbean Sea to the northeast, Panama to the southeast, the Pacific Ocean to the southwest, and Ecuador to the south of Cocos Island. It has a population of around 5 million in a land area of 51,060 square kilometers (19,714 square miles). An estimated 333,980 people live in the capital and largest city, San José with around 2 million people in the surrounding metropolitan area.

Costa Rica is a unitary presidential constitutional republic. It is known for its long-standing and stable democracy, and for its highly educated workforce, most of whom speak English. The country spends roughly 6.9% of its budget (2016) on education, compared to a global average of 4.4%. Its economy, once heavily dependent on agriculture, has diversified to include sectors such as finance, corporate services for foreign companies, pharmaceuticals, and ecotourism. Many foreign manufacturing and services companies operate in Costa Rica's Free Trade Zones (FTZ) where they benefit from investment and tax incentives.

Costa Rica was sparsely inhabited by indigenous peoples before coming under Spanish rule in the 16th century. It remained a peripheral colony of the empire until independence as part of the First Mexican Empire, followed by membership in the United Provinces of Central America, from which it formally declared independence in 1847. Since then, Costa Rica has remained among the most stable, prosperous, and progressive[peacock term] nations in Latin America. Following the brief Costa Rican Civil War, it permanently abolished its army in 1949, becoming one of only a few sovereign nations without a standing army.

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Ángela Acuña Braun, also known as Ángela Acuña de Chacón, (2 October 1888 – 10 October 1983), a Costa Rican lawyer, women's rights pioneer and ambassador, was the first woman to graduate as a lawyer in Central America. Orphaned at the age of 12, she was raised by her maternal aunt and uncle, attending elementary school and beginning high school in Costa Rica. She continued her education in France and England, gaining exposure to the ideas of women’s rights. Returning to Costa Rica in 1912, she published articles in support of women's equality. She attended the boys' lyceum or high school where she passed the bachillerato, a prerequisite for entering law school. She embarked on law studies in 1913, leading to a bachelor's degree in 1916. As women were barred from entering the profession, Acuña immediately presented a reform to the civil code allowing this, which was adopted.

Agitating for women's suffrage, Acuña pressed lawmakers to enfranchise women, but for many years was unsuccessful in her demands. After a two-year stay in the United States, where she attended conferences in support of women's rights, she returned to Costa Rica in 1923 and founded the Liga Feminista Costarricense (Costa Rican Feminist League), while resuming her law studies. In 1925, she earned her licenciatura degree with honors, becoming the first woman lawyer not only in Costa Rica but in the whole of Central America. Between 1926 and 1928, she studied aviculture in Brussels and then returned to Costa Rica, where she married. Her law practice focused on the rights of retired teachers, but her primary concern was to press for progress on women's rights and for revisions to the civil code for the protection of children. Acuña founded the Association of University Women of Costa Rica and the Costa Rican chapters of the Pan American Round Table, the Unión de Mujeres Americanas and the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom. Read more...

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...that the Irazú Volcano in Costa Rica erupted violently in 1963, on the day U.S. President John F. Kennedy arrived in the country?

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