25 Facts About Costa Rica

1. Costa Rica was inhabited by indigenous peoples before coming under Spanish rule in the 16th century.

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2. Stone tools, the oldest evidence of human occupation in Costa Rica, are associated with the arrival of various groups of hunter-gatherers about 10,000 to 7,000 years BCE in the Turrialba Valley.

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3. Costa Rica became a "rural democracy" with no oppressed mestizo or indigenous class.

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4. Costa Rica is the first tropical country to have stopped and reversed deforestation; it has successfully restored its forestry and developed an ecosystem service to teach biologists and ecologists about its environmental protection measures.

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5. Costa Rica is recognized in Latin America for the quality of its educational system.

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6. Costa Rica began reversing deforestation in the 1990s, and they are moving towards using only renewable energy.

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7. Costa Rica is an active member of the United Nations and the Organization of American States.

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8. The main foreign policy objective of Costa Rica is to foster human rights and sustainable development as a way to secure stability and growth.

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9. Costa Rica is an observer of the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie.

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10. On 1 June 2007, Costa Rica broke diplomatic ties with Taiwan, switching recognition to the People's Republic of China.

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11. Costa Rica was the first of the Central American nations to do so.

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12. Costa Rica finished a term on the United Nations Security Council, having been elected for a nonrenewable, two-year term in the 2007 election.

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13. On 1 December 1948, Costa Rica abolished its military force.

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14. In 2017, Costa Rica signed the UN treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

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15. Costa Rica is the only modern state in the Americas which currently has Catholicism as its state religion; other countries with state religions are in Europe: Liechtenstein, Monaco, the Vatican City, Malta, Norway, United Kingdom, Denmark, Iceland, and Greece.

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16. Primary language spoken in Costa Rica is Spanish, which features characteristics distinct to the country, a form of Central American Spanish.

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17. Costa Rica is a linguistically diverse country and home to at least five living local indigenous languages spoken by the descendants of pre-Columbian peoples: Maleku, Cabecar, Bribri, Guaymi, and Buglere.

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18. Costa Rica was the point where the Mesoamerican and South American native cultures met.

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19. Costa Rica entered the Summer Olympics for the first time in 1936.

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20. Literacy rate in Costa Rica is approximately 97 percent and English is widely spoken primarily due to Costa Rica's tourism industry.

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21. Costa Rica was ranked 56th in the Global Innovation Index in 2021, down from 55th in 2019.

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22. Primary health care facilities in Costa Rica include health clinics, with a general practitioner, nurse, clerk, pharmacist, and a primary health technician.

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23. Costa Rica is among the Latin America countries that have become popular destinations for medical tourism.

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24. In 2006, Costa Rica received 150,000 foreigners that came for medical treatment.

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25. Costa Rica is particularly attractive to Americans due to geographic proximity, high quality of medical services, and lower medical costs.

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