A Snapshot of Costa Rican People and Culture

by on Thursday, 11 July 2013

The Basilica of Our Lady of the Angels in Cartago is the country’s most notable Roman Catholic Church

Beautiful beaches, volcanoes, incredible nature experiences, wildlife, and adventure are foremost the things that come to mind when we think of Costa Rica. However, to really appreciate a country it pays to come with an understanding of its people and their culture.

Use the below information as a starting point and when you get to Costa Rica as part of your ISV Volunteer and Travel Program, talk to local Ticos and get a deeper more personal sense of what this country is all about.

  • People: Costa Ricans, better known as “Ticos” are very family oriented people. They are typically easy going, welcoming and friendly in nature. Their favorite phrase is “PURA VIDA”, which signifies their belief in “pure life” or a people full of happy life. Costa Ricans were recently named the “happiest people on earth”!

Ticos absolutely love soccer (football)! The National Team

  • Politics– Democracy is the form of government in Costa Rica, with elections held every four years. Costa Rica is also considered to be one of the most stable nations of Latin America, which in a large part is due to the high standard of living and quality education.
  • Lifestyle– Costa Rica enjoys one of the highest standards of living in Central America.  Even the smallest villages have electricity, drinkable water, telephone service, and free and compulsory education through high school. Costa Rica boast one of the highest literacy rates in the Western Hemisphere 95%, and many students continue their education at universities.
  • Agriculture and farming are important parts of Costa Rica’s identity

    Population Demographics– The total population is nearly 4.7 million (July 2013 est).  Most Ticos live in urban areas; the capital city of San Jose has 32 % of the total number of residents in the country. However, the nation has a very strong rural heritage and agriculture and farming are important parts of the country’s identity.

  • Religion– The official religion of Costa Rica is Catholic (76% of population), but there is total freedom of worship. Much of the population on the Caribbean coast is protestant as the descendants are mostly Jamaican who came into the country in late 1800s to build the railroad which connected Limón Port to the Central Valley. The Costa Ricans are not strict in their practice of church doctrine and are accepting of others religious beliefs.
  • Fun Costa Ricans have a love of music and an enthusiasm for dancing! The salsa, merengue, and reggae are popular rhythms and play a huge part in the local fiestas found throughout the country. In terms of sport, Futbol (soccer) is played everywhere! Smaller villages are often built around the soccer field with everyone turning out in the evenings to watch the teams play. The enthusiasm for the game is contagious!

You can read more on Costa Rica’s fascinating People and Culture here.

To learn more about ISV’s program in Costa Rica visit our website: www.isvolunteers.org



{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: