History of Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a small country bordering Panama and Nicaragua with a rich history, it all started when Cristopher Colombus set sail on the Americas and after visiting a few other areas, he landed in Costa Rica on the pacific side. While there, many of the indigenous people offered him lots of expensive gifts. He called this place Costa Rica meaning rich coast in Spanish. And although many people call Cristopher Colombus a hero, he was a very bad guy killing the indigenous peoples of Costa Rica. Colombus did not like Costa Rica because of the treacherous terrain and after going back to Spain and telling the king what he saw about this place he declared that Costa Rica was hell, but despite what they saw, Cartago was made the first Spanish colony in Costa Rica.

After a few hundred years things were not looking too good for Costa Rica. Although the population was spreading and Cartago was great for farming, many of the indigenous people had been killed by either new diseases or by the Spanish. By the 18th century, the indigenous population was only 8000, and 23 years later, Volan Irazu erupted flattening out the land for 10 months straight but despite all this, the total population reached 50,000 by the end of the 18th century. The church started getting stronger too, and Costa Rica started to become a patriarchal society which means that people thought that men were superior over women.

In 1821 something big happened. Spain did not like to go back and forth from Europe and decided that they wanted to let go of their colonies in Central America and all of the colonies were hit by a big decision to either stay together or split up should they stay together and form one big powerhouse? or should they split up and all become a bunch of little countries? they eventually decided to become their own little countries but start a small organization called the CAF so they could work together a little more. another big decision hit Costa Rica as well, Cartago had been a Spanish colony for years and they wanted to stay the same, but San Jóse wanted to change, they wanted to become different and start new cultures. They began a short war and eventually, San Jóse won the war and became the capital of Costa Rica

A few decades later, a lot of things had happened. Guanacaste left Nicaragua and joined Costa Rica, Costa Rica also withdrew from the CAF and a rich guy named William Walker tried to conquer Costa Rica and build a canal. In the 1800s Costa Rica wanted to gain more money. They decided to try to export coffee to gain money. The idea was a huge success and Costa Rica plunged into a coffee empire. By the 1860s coffee made up 90% of their exports and 80% of foreign money earned. In 1890 they tried to build a railway to transport the coffee to the coast where it could be shipped to different countries, the idea ended up being a tragedy, workers died from accidents and harsh conditions, but eventually, they finished the railroad but were losing money. They decided to ship a bunch of bananas to New Orleans to make money and the idea worked! people in the United States wanted more and more bananas they began to ship more and while this was earning them some good money the company was owned by an American and so the profits seemed to be going to the United States as well eventually a new disease called the Panama disease killed all the bananas and the company relocated somewhere else.

On December 1st, 1948 a wave of change came upon Costa Rica, they abolished their army. President Jóse Figueres Ferrer said that now they could focus more on health care, education, and eco-friendliness. Their army has been gone for over 70 years and is keeping up. This is very odd for a Central American country with a lot of tension going on with their neighbors and you might ask how it is protected. Well, they have an armed police force that patrols and protects the borders. In 1963 Costa Rica began an even bigger push toward becoming more eco friendly starting with the Cabo Blanco Nature Reserve in 1963 and many more national parks in 1971. This allowed them to push their ecotourism and start a tourism empire this tourism empire still lasts today and is even bigger than ever. even today Costa Rica remains the peaceful country it was and 1.7 million tourists visit it every year because of that. Today, Costa Rica is on the verge of becoming the first carbon-neutral country promoting windmills and solar power.

I hope that by the end of this post you have realized what an amazing country Costa Rica is. With such a rich history, no army and regained being peaceful through many hardships. this country has so much to explore from rugged mountains to dense jungles to amazing surf and tourism. This country really and truly is Pura Vida.

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