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History of Costa Rica
In 2018, Costa Rica was named the happiest Latin country in the world. Back in 2016, it was also named as the happiest country in the world by The Happy Planet Index. Considerably, the country has massively developed from; since the end of the war half a century ago. It has provided security, stability, and has been a good home to many of its citizens. Costa Rica’s population has now grown to about 4.8 million.
A good majority of the population are the ones considered to be mestizos or castizos. They basically are Latin Americans who have a mix of European blood. A lot of these individuals descend from previous occupants in Costa Rica who were immigrants to the country before.
It took a lot of efforts from the government and took a lot of time for the country to become what it is today. The happiest country in the world has come a long way from the era of Spanish Colonization. Nevertheless, Costa Rica is now a sustainable place of peace, livelihood, and residence. Travel back in time and learn the very interesting history of Costa Rica.
Costa Rica Back in the Days
Ancient Costa Ricans used to be hunters and gatherers until the Spaniards came into the land. It didn’t take long for the country to become a part of the Spanish colony and eventually for its people to adapt to their culture. While still a part of the Captaincy General of Guatemala, Costa Rica was referred to as "the poorest and most miserable Spanish colony in all America" by its previous leaders.
A lot of native Costa Ricans were forced into labor in their own land. Although, unlike other countries in Latin America, Costa Rica was left to struggle in its own development. Lands weren’t turned into haciendas thus many Spanish occupants never took interest in acquiring properties in the country. The place remained in poverty throughout the Spanish colonization.
For more than half a century, Costa Ricans had to endure its unfortunate fate. Eventually, they became independent from Spanish colonization when France and Spain had fought for territory and power. While Costa Ricans never really fought for their freedom, they were still set free as an independent state on September 15, 1821.
This short lived freedom was cut short when Costa Rica became a part of the First Mexican Empire. It wasn’t until July 01, 1823 that the country became a sovereign land. However, this liberation meant less trade routes for the people of Costa Rica. These became a big hindrance in the production and trade of coffee.
The peace in Costa Rica was once more disturbed by William Walker. He wanted to capture Costa Rica which lead to the uprising of Tico forces against his men. They drove them out of the country and reigned victor in their final battle in Nicaragua.
Modern Day Costa Rica
Violence was much avoided in the country for a long time. Until the historical occurrence of the Costa Rica Civil War, Costa Rica remained at peace. The civil war lasted for 44 days and is dubbed to be the bloodiest event in the 20th-Century history of Costa Rica.
Post-war, the country tried to rebuild internally and has recovered fairly well. It relied on the trade of banana, coffee, and oil. But like any other country, it has also faced socio-economic crisis and has incurred international debt through the years.
The country started opening its doors to the technology industry, moving past the agriculture industry. A number of software companies has set their operations in the country, helping with the gross income that Costa Rica now enjoys.
All these changes that the country endured transcended to its locals. From being strictly conservative individuals, Ticos and Ticas have slowly adapted to a lot of what is considered as “western” traditions. Truly, the culture of Costa Rica has evolved for the better. For example, the ladies are now more open to dating someone of a different culture. Costa Rica women seeking mature foreign men is not something frowned upon anymore unlike back in the old days.
Subsequently, the people in Costa Rica have become more welcoming to tourists. As a matter of fact, a huge portion of the country’s income come from the local tourism. Needless to say, Costa Rica has developed into an independent country which offers a lot of things to everyone.