Page 3 - Costa Rica Tours
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Heritage and Culture

       Costa Rica’s culture is reected in the racial mixtures that coexist throughout the
       country.  The main inuence is European, which is seen in aspects such as our
       ocial language – Spanish – and the architecture of our churches and other historic
       buildings.  Indigenous inuence is less visible, but present in tortillas, which are part
       of our traditional cuisine, and in the ceramic handicrafts that are sold along the
       More recently, inuence has come from the United States, which can be seen
       everywhere from billboards for movies in San Jose to the fast-food chains that have
       sprung up in cities. One important aspect of Costa Rica’s cultural heritage is its love
       of peace and democracy. The Costa Ricans strive to make their country stand out as
       the exception in Latin America. For decades the political system has been run by
       democracy, not dictatorships.
       Costa Ricans are proud to have over a century of democratic tradition and more
       than 50 years without an army, which was abolished in 1948. The money the
       country saves by not having armed forces is invested in improving the Costa Rican’s
       standard of living, thus contributing to social peace.

                                                   The People

                                               The “Ticos,” as Costa Ricans are aectionately known, are famous for their hospitality.
                                               They are hard workers and most posses a high level of education. Ticos love to oer a
                                               smile and a helping hand to others. It is often said that the Ticos are Costa Rica’s biggest
                                               asset. Once you have experienced their friendship and spontaneity, you won’t have any
                                               doubts about it.
                                               Even though the majority of Costa Rica’s almost ve million inhabitants are descendents
                                               of Spanish immigrants, many families come from dierent parts of Europe, Asia, Africa
                                               and of course Central America. You’ll be surprised to see so many light-skinned people,
                                               mainly in the Central Valley. In other areas, the majority of people are mestizo, which is a
                                               mix of European and indigenous blood. Also, a signicant part of people on the
                                               Caribbean coast are of African descent, and in the Talamanca area are dierent
                                               indigenous groups.

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