The Costa Rica Portal

Republic of Costa Rica
República de Costa Rica (Spanish)
Anthem: "Himno Nacional de Costa Rica" (Spanish)
"National Anthem of Costa Rica"
ISO 3166 codeCR

Costa Rica (UK: /ˌkɒstə ˈrkə/, US: /ˌkstə-/ ; Spanish: [ˈkosta ˈrika]; literally "Rich Coast"), officially the Republic of Costa Rica (Spanish: República de Costa Rica), is a country in the Central American region of North America. Costa Rica is bordered by Nicaragua to the north, the Caribbean Sea to the northeast, Panama to the southeast, and the Pacific Ocean to the southwest, as well as maritime border with Ecuador to the south of Cocos Island. It has a population of around five million0 in a land area of 51,060 km2 (19,710 sq mi). An estimated 333,980 people live in the capital and largest city, San José, with around two million people in the surrounding metropolitan area.

The sovereign state is a unitary presidential constitutional republic. It has a long-standing and stable democracy and a highly educated workforce. 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 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 Federal Republic of Central America, from which it formally declared independence in 1847. Following the brief Costa Rican Civil War in 1948, it permanently abolished its army in 1949, becoming one of only a few sovereign nations without a standing army. (Full article...)

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Costa Rica is divided into three major drainage basins encompassing 34 watersheds with numerous rivers and tributaries, one major lake used for hydroelectric generation, and two major aquifers that serve to store 90% of the municipal, industrial, and agricultural water supply needs of Costa Rica. Agriculture is the largest water user demanding around 53% of total supplies while the sector contributes 6.5% to the Costa Rica GDP. About a fifth of land under cultivation is being irrigated by surface water. Hydroelectric power generation makes up a significant portion of electricity usage in Costa Rica and much of this comes from the Arenal dam.

Total water usage is very high in comparison to other Central American countries, but when measured against available freshwater sources, Costa Rica uses only 5% of its available supply. Urbanization is increasing and as it does, demand for water is expected to rise exponentially in the coming decades. There exists ample water but the threat of widespread contamination to the aquifers is legitimate as untreated wastewater, stormwater, and industrial effluents infiltrate subterranean supplies. (Full article...)

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...that Pancha Carrasco became Costa Rica's first woman in the military by joining the defending forces at the Battle of Rivas in 1856 with a rifle and a pocketful of bullets?

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Costa Rica news

1 August 2023 –
The Public Prosecutor of Costa Rica launches an influence peddling investigation into President Rodrigo Chaves Robles and several other government officials. (AFP via New Vision)
7 June 2023 –
In a report published in Biology Letters, researchers reveal the first-known case of facultative parthenogenesis or a "virgin birth" in a crocodile, where a female American crocodile living in isolation at a Costa Rican zoo laid an egg of a fully formed stillborn crocodile that exhibited parthenogenesis. Researchers suggest that the findings could provide insights into the reproduction of crocodile ancestors, including dinosaurs and pterosaurs. (USA Today)
19 April 2023 – Crime in Costa Rica
President Rodrigo Chaves orders a series of measures to fight increasing crime in Costa Rica, including the deployment of more police, tougher juvenile laws, extradition of foreign criminals, and restrictions on the sale of ammunition. (Reuters)
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