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COSTA RICA Costa Rica (ˌkoʊstə ˈriːkə/, meaning "rich coast" in Spanish), officially the Republic of Costa Rica (Spanish: Costa Rica or República de Costa Rica, pronounced: [reˈpuβlika ðe ˈkosta ˈrika]), is a country in Central America, bordered by Nicaragua to the north, Panama to the southeast, the Pacific Ocean to the west, and the Caribbean Sea to the east. Costa Rica constitutionally abolished its army permanently in 1949. It is the only Latin American country included in the list of the world's 22 older democracies. Costa Rica has consistently been among the top Latin American countries in the Human Development Index (HDI), ranked 69th in the world in 2011. Costa Rica was cited by the United Nations United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in 2010 as one of the countries that have attained much higher human development than other countries at the same income levels, and in 2011 was highlighted by UNDP for being a good performer on environmental sustainability and having a better record on human development and inequality than the median of their region. It was also the only country to meet all five criteria established to measure environmental sustainability. The country is ranked fifth in the world, and first among the Americas, in terms of the 2012 Environmental Performance Index. [12] In 2007, the Costa Rican government announced plans for Costa Rica to become the first carbon-neutral country by 2021. The New Economics Foundation (NEF) ranked Costa Rica first in its 2009 Happy Planet Index, and once again in 2012 .The NEF also ranked Costa Rica in 2009 as the "greenest" country in the world. In 2012 Costa Rica became the first country in the American continent to ban recreational hunting after the country’s legislature approved the popular measure by a wide margin. Contents [hide] 1 History o 1.1 Pre-Columbian period o 1.2 Spanish colonization o 1.3 Independence
Transcript
Page 1: Costa Rica Jrp

COSTA RICA

Costa Rica (ˌkoʊstə ˈriːkə/, meaning "rich coast" in Spanish), officially the Republic of Costa Rica (Spanish: Costa Rica or República de Costa Rica, pronounced: [re puˈ βlika ðe kosta rika]ˈ ˈ ), is a country in Central America, bordered by Nicaragua to the

north, Panama to the southeast, the Pacific Ocean to the west, and the Caribbean Sea to the east.

Costa Rica constitutionally abolished its army permanently in 1949. It is the only Latin American country included in the list of the world's 22 older democracies. Costa Rica has consistently been among the top Latin American countries in the Human Development Index (HDI), ranked 69th in the world in 2011.

Costa Rica was cited by the United Nations United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in 2010 as one of the countries that have attained much higher human development than other countries at the same income levels, and in 2011 was highlighted by UNDP for being a good performer on environmental sustainability and having a better record on human development and inequality than the median of their region. It was also the only country to meet all five criteria established to measure environmental sustainability. The country is ranked fifth in the world, and first among the Americas, in terms of the 2012 Environmental Performance Index.[12]

In 2007, the Costa Rican government announced plans for Costa Rica to become the first carbon-neutral country by 2021. The New Economics Foundation (NEF) ranked Costa Rica first in its 2009 Happy Planet Index, and once again in 2012 .The NEF also ranked Costa Rica in 2009 as the "greenest" country in the world. In 2012 Costa Rica became the first country in the American continent to ban recreational hunting after the country’s legislature approved the popular measure by a wide margin.

Contents

  [hide] 

1 History

o 1.1 Pre-Columbian period

o 1.2 Spanish colonization

o 1.3 Independence

o 1.4 Economic growth

1.4.1 20th century

2 Geography

o 2.1 Climate

o 2.2 Flora and fauna

3 Economy

4 Governance

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o 4.1 Provinces, cantons, and districts

o 4.2 Foreign relations

5 Demographics

o 5.1 Health

o 5.2 Religion

o 5.3 Languages

6 Culture

7 Education

8 See also

9 References

10 Further reading

11 External links

History

Main article: History of Costa Rica

Pre-Columbian period

Historians have classified the indigenous people of Costa Rica as belonging to the Intermediate Area, where the peripheries of the Mesoamerican andAndean native cultures overlapped. More recently, pre-Columbian Costa Rica has also been described as part of the Isthmo-Colombian Area. The northwest of the country, Nicoya Peninsula, was the southernmost reach of the Nahuatl culture when the Spanish conquistadors arrived in the 16th century.[citation needed] The rest of the country was influenced by various Chibcha speaking indigenous groups.

The impact of indigenous peoples on modern Costa Rican culture has been relatively small compared to other nations, since the country lacked a strong native civilization to begin with. Most of the native population was absorbed into the Spanish-speaking colonial society through inter-marriage, except for some small remnants, the most significant of which are the Bribri and Boruca tribes who still inhabit the mountains of the Cordillera de Talamanca, in the southern part of Costa Rica, near the frontier with Panama.

Spanish colonization

Accounts differ as to whether the name la costa rica (Spanish for "rich coast") was first applied by Christopher Columbus, who sailed to the eastern shores of Costa Rica during his final voyage in 1502,[21] and reported the presence of vast quantities of gold jewelry among the natives[22] or by theconquistador Gil González Dávila, who landed on the west coast in 1522, met with the natives, and appropriated some of their gold.[23]

During most of the colonial period, Costa Rica was the southernmost province of the Captaincy General of Guatemala, which was nominally part of the Viceroyalty of New Spain (i.e., Mexico), but which in practice operated as a largely autonomous entity within the Spanish Empire. Costa Rica's distance from the capital in Guatemala, its legal prohibition under Spanish law to trade with its southern neighbors in Panama, then part

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of theViceroyalty of New Granada (i.e., Colombia), and the lack of resources, such as gold and silver, made Costa Rica into a poor, isolated, and sparsely inhabited region within the Spanish Empire.[24] Costa Rica was described as "the poorest and most miserable Spanish colony in all America" by a Spanish governor in 1719.[25]

Another important factor behind Costa Rica's poverty was the lack of a significant indigenous population available for Encomienda (forced labor), which meant most of the Costa Rican settlers had to work on their own land, preventing the establishment of large haciendas (properties). For all these reasons, Costa Rica was by and large unappreciated and overlooked by the Spanish Crown and left to develop on its own. The circumstances during this period are believed to have led to many of the idiosyncrasies for which Costa Rica has become known, while concomitantly setting the stage for Costa Rica's development as a more egalitarian society than the rest of its neighbors. Costa Rica became a "rural democracy" with no oppressed mestizo or indigenous class. It was not long before Spanish settlers turned to the hills, where they found rich volcanic soil and a milder climate than that of the lowlands.[26]

Independence

Like the rest of Central America, Costa Rica never fought for independence from Spain. On September 15, 1821, after the final Spanish defeat in theMexican War of Independence (1810–21), the authorities in Guatemala declared the independence of all of Central America. That date is still celebrated as Independence Day in Costa Rica, even though, technically, under the Spanish Constitution of 1812 that had been readopted in 1820, Nicaragua and Costa Rica had become an autonomous province with its capital in León.

Like other Central American nations, Costa Rica joined the short-lived First Mexican Empire of Agustín de Iturbide but, after its collapse in 1823, Costa Rica became instead a province of the new Federal Republic of Central America, which theoretically existed from 1823 to 1839, but which exercised a very loose authority over its constituent provinces, particularly the poor and remote Costa Rica. In 1824, the Costa Rican capital was moved to San José, leading to a brief outburst of violence over rivalry with the old capital, Cartago. While civil wars raged both among the provinces of the Federal Republic of Central America and between political factions within individual provinces, Costa Rica remained largely at peace.

The 1849 national coat of armswas featured in the first postal stamp issued in 1862

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In 1838, long after the Federal Republic of Central America ceased to function in practice, Costa Rica formally withdrew and proclaimed itself sovereign. The considerable distance and poor communication routes between Guatemala City and the Central Plateau, where most of the Costa Rican population lived then and still lives now, meant the local population had little allegiance to the federal government in Guatemala. From colonial times to now, Costa Rica's reluctance to become politically tied with the rest of Central America has been a major obstacle to efforts for greater regional integration.

Economic growth

Coffee was first planted in Costa Rica in the early 19th century, and was first shipped to Europe in 1843, soon becoming Costa Rica's first major export. Coffee production would remain Costa Rica's principal source of wealth well into the 20th century. Most of the coffee exported was grown around the main centers of population in the Central Plateau and then transported by oxcart to the Pacific port of Puntarenas. Since the main market for the coffee was in Europe, it soon became a high priority to develop a transportation route from the Central Plateau to the Atlantic Ocean. For this purpose, in the 1870s, the Costa Rican government contracted with U.S. businessman Minor C. Keith to build a railroad to the Caribbean port of Limón. Despite enormous difficulties with construction, disease, and financing, the railroad was completed in 1890.

Most Afro-Costa Ricans, who constitute about 3% of the country's population, descend from Jamaican immigrants who worked in the construction of that railway.[27] United States convicts, Italians and Chinese immigrants also participated in the construction project. In exchange for completing the railroad, the Costa Rican government granted Keith large tracts of land and a lease on the train route, which he used to produce bananas and export them to the United States. As a result, bananas came to rival coffee as the principal Costa Rican export, while foreign-owned corporations (including theUnited Fruit Company) began to hold a major role in the national economy.[citation needed]

20th century

Historically, Costa Rica has generally enjoyed greater peace and more consistent political stability compared with many of its fellow Latin American nations. Since the late 19th century, however, Costa Rica has experienced two significant periods of violence. In 1917–19, General Federico Tinoco Granados ruled as a military dictator until he was overthrown and forced into exile. The unpopularity of Tinoco's regime led, after he was overthrown, to a considerable decline in the size, wealth, and political influence of the Costa Rican military. In 1948, José Figueres Ferrer led an armed uprising in the wake of a disputed presidential election between the previous president Rafael Ángel Calderón Guardia (he served as president between 1940 and 1944) and Otilio Ulate Blanco.[28] With more than 2,000 dead, the resulting 44-day Costa Rican Civil War was the bloodiest event in Costa Rica during the 20th century.

The victorious rebels formed a government junta that abolished the military altogether, and oversaw the drafting of a new constitution by a democratically elected assembly.[29] Having enacted these reforms, the junta relinquished its power on November 8, 1949, to the new democratic government. After thecoup d'état, Figueres became a national hero, winning the country's first democratic election under the new constitution in 1953. Since then, Costa Rica has held 13 presidential elections, the latest in 2010. All of them have been widely regarded by the international community as peaceful and transparent.

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Geography

Main article: Geography of Costa Rica

Costa Rica is located on the Central American isthmus, lying between latitudes 8° and 12°N, and longitudes 82° and 86°W. It borders the Caribbean Sea (to the east) and the Pacific Ocean (to the west), with a total of 1,290 kilometres (800 mi) of coastline, 212 km (132 mi) on the Caribbean coast and 1,016 km (631 mi) on the Pacific.

Costa Rica also borders Nicaragua to the north (309 km or 192 mi of border) and Panama to the south-southeast (639 km or 397 mi of border). In total, Costa Rica comprises 51,100 square kilometres (19,700 sq mi) plus 589 square kilometres (227 sq mi) of territorial waters.

The highest point in the country is Cerro Chirripó, at 3,819 metres (12,530 ft); it is the fifth highest peak in Central America. The highest volcano in the country is the Irazú Volcano (3,431 m or 11,257 ft). The largest lake in Costa Rica is Lake Arenal.

Costa Rica also comprises several islands. Cocos Island (24 square kilometres / 9.3 square miles) stands out because of its distance from continental landmass, 300 mi (480 km) from Puntarenas, but Calero Island is the largest island of the country (151.6 square kilometres / 58.5 square miles). Over 25% of Costa Rica's national territory is protected by SINAC (the National System of Conservation Areas), which oversees all of the country's protected areas. Costa Rica also possesses the greatest density of species in the world.[30]

See also: List of volcanoes in Costa Rica, Islands of Costa Rica, and Category:Waterfalls of Costa Rica

Climate

Main article: Climate of Costa Rica

Because Costa Rica is located between 8 and 12 degrees north of the Equator, the climate is tropical year round. However, the country has many microclimates depending on elevation, rainfall, topography, and by the geography of each particular region.

Costa Rica's seasons are defined by how much rain falls during a particular period and not to the four seasons in the Northern Hemisphere. The year can be split into two periods, the dry season known to the residents as summer, and the rainy season, known locally as winter. The "summer" or dry season goes from December to April, and "winter" or rainy season goes from May to November, which almost coincides with the Atlantic hurricane season, and during this time, it rains constantly in some regions.

The location receiving the most rain is the Caribbean slopes of the Central Cordillera mountains, with an annual rainfall of over 5,000 mm (196.9 in). Humidity is also higher on the Caribbean side than on the Pacific side. The mean annual temperature on the coastal lowlands is around 27 °C (81 °F), 20 °C (68 °F) in the main populated areas of the Central Cordilera, and below 10 °C (50 °F)on the summits of the highest mountains.[31]

Costa Rican Weather Averages: [32]

Months Janu Febru Mar Ap Ma Jun Jul Aug Septem Octo Novem Decem

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ary ary ch ril y e y ust ber ber ber ber

High Temperature (C)

27 27 28 28 27 27 27 27 26 26 26 26

Low Temperature (C)

17 18 18 18 18 18 18 18 17 18 18 18

Precipitation (mm)

6.3 10.2 13.879.9

267.6

280.1

181.5

276.9

355.1 330.6 135.5 33.5

Average Percent Sunshine

40 37 39 33 25 20 21 22 20 22 25 34

Flora and fauna

Red-eyed Tree Frog (Agalychnis callidryas)

Heliconius doris Linnaeus butterfly of Costa Rica

See also: Wildlife of Costa Rica and List of birds of Costa Rica

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Costa Rica is home to a rich variety of plants and animals. While the country has only about 0.25% of the world's landmass, it contains 5% of the world's biodiversity.[33]

[34] Around 25% of the country's land area is in protected national parks and protected areas,[35][36] the largest percentage of protected areas in the world (developing world average 13%, developed world average 8%).[37][38][39] Costa Rica has successfully managed to diminishdeforestation from some of the worst rates in the world from 1973 to 1989, to almost zero by 2005.[37]

One national park, the Corcovado National Park, is internationally renowned among ecologists for its biodiversity (including big cats and tapirs) and is where visitors can expect to see an abundance of wildlife.[40][41] Corcovado is the one park in Costa Rica where all four Costa Rican monkey speciescan be found.[42] These include the white-headed capuchin, the mantled howler,the endangered Geoffroy's spider monkey[42][43] and the Central American squirrel monkey, found only on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica and a small part of Panama, and considered endangered until 2008, when its status was upgraded to vulnerable. Deforestation, illegal pet-trading, and hunting are the main reasons for its threatened status.[44]

Tortuguero National Park—the name Tortuguero can be translated as "Full of Turtles"—is home to spider, howler and white-throated capuchin monkeys; the three-toed sloth and two-toed sloth; 320 species of birds; and a variety of reptiles. The park is recognized for the annual nesting of the endangeredgreen turtle, and is the most important nesting site for the species. Giant leatherback, hawksbill, and loggerhead turtles also nest there.

The Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve is home to about 2,000 plant species,[45] including numerous orchids. Over 400 types of birds and more than 100 species of mammals can be found there.[45]

As a whole, around 700 species of birds have been identified in Costa Rica. The Instituto Nacional de Biodiversidad is allowed to collect royalties on any biological discoveries of medical importance.

Costa Rica is a center of biological diversity for reptiles and amphibians, including the world's fastest running lizard, the spiny-tailed iguana (Ctenosaura similis).[46]

Economy

An Intel microprocessor facility in Costa Rica is responsible for 20% of Costa Rican exports

and 5% of the country's GDP.

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A coffee plantation in the Orosí Valley

Main articles: Economy of Costa Rica and Tourism in Costa Rica

According to the World Bank, Costa Rica's GDP per capita is US$11,122 PPP (as of 2009); however, this developing country still faces lack of maintenance and new investment in infrastructure, a poverty rate estimated to be 23%,[2][47] a 7.8% unemployment rate (2009 est.),[2] and a trade deficit of 5.2%. For the fiscal year 2007, the country showed a government surplus. Economic growth in 2008 diminished to a 3% increase in the face of a global recession (down from 7% and 9% growth in the prior two years).[2][48]

Costa Rica's inflation rate was an estimated 4.8% in 2011. On October 16, 2006, a new currency exchange system was introduced, allowing the value of the CRC colón to float between two bands as done previously by Chile. This policy's objective was to allow the Central Bank to be able to better tackle inflation and discourage the use of U.S. dollars. However, as of August 2009, the value of the colón against the dollar has decreased to 86% of its late-2006 value (see commonly available forex trading charts). The unit of currency is the colón, and as of May 2012, it trades around 507 to the US$,[49]and about 660 colones to the euro.

The central government offers tax exemptions for those willing to invest in the country. Several global high tech corporations have already started developing in the area and are exporting goods, including chip manufacturer Intel, pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline, and consumer products company Procter & Gamble. In 2006, Intel's microprocessor facility alone was responsible for 20% of Costa Rican exports and 4.9% of the country's GDP.[50][51] Trade with Southeast Asia and Russia boomed during 2004 and 2005, and the country obtained full Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum (APEC) membership in 2007 after becoming an observer in 2004. The Financial Times Intelligent Unit awarded Costa Rica with the fDi’s Caribbean and Central American Country of the Future 2011/12 for its successful record in attracting FDI into the country, and being the number one destination country in the region in terms of foreign direct investment (FDI) project numbers since 2003.[52][53]

In recent times, pharmaceuticals, financial outsourcing, software development, and ecotourism have become the prime industries in Costa Rica's economy. High levels of education among its residents make the country an attractive investing location. Since 1999, tourism earns more foreign exchange than the combined exports of the country's three main cash crops: bananas, pineapples and coffee.[54] Coffee production has played a key role in Costa Rica's history and economy, and by 2006, was the third cash crop export.[54]

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The largest coffee growing areas are in the provinces of San José, Alajuela, Heredia, Puntarenas, and Cartago. Costa Rica is famous for its gourmet coffee beans, with Costa Rican Tarrazú among the finest arabica coffee beans in the world used for making espresso coffee, together with Jamaican Blue Mountain, Guatemalan Antigua andEthiopian Sidamo.[55][56][57][58]

Costa Rica's location provides access to American markets as it has the same time zone as the central part of the United States and direct ocean access to Europe and Asia. In a countrywide referendum on October 5, 2007, the voters of Costa Rica narrowly backed a free trade agreement, with 51.6% of "Yes" votes.[59]

Poás Volcano Crater is one of the country's main tourist attractions.

With a $2.2 billion per year tourism industry, Costa Rica is the most visited nation in the Central American region, with two million foreign visitors in 2008,[60] which translates into a high expenditure per tourist of $1,077 per trip, one of the highest in the Caribbean Basin. In 2008, most visitors came from the United States (38.6%), neighboring Nicaragua (21.8%), Europe (11.3%) and Canada (5.2%).[61] In 2005, tourism contributed 8.1% of the country's GNP, and represented 13.3% of direct and indirect employment.[62] Tourism now earns more foreign exchange than bananas and coffee combined.[54][63]

Ecotourism draws many tourists to visit the extensive national parks and protected areas around the country. Costa Rica was a pioneer in this type of tourism, and the country is recognized as one of the few with true ecotourism.[64] In terms of the 2011 Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index, Costa Rica ranked 44th in the world and second among Latin American countries after Mexico.[65] Considering its subindex natural resources, Costa Rica ranks sixth worldwide in the natural resources pillar, but 104th in terms of its cultural resources due to the country's limited number of cultural sites.[65]

Costa Rica has also developed a system of payments for environmental services.[37] Similarly, Costa Rica has a tax on water pollution to penalize businesses and homeowners that dump sewage, agricultural chemicals, and other pollutants into waterways.[66] In May 2007, the Costa Rican government announced its intentions to become 100% carbon neutral by 2021.[67] As of 2012, Costa Rica produces more than 90% of its electricity through renewable sources.[68]

In 1996, the Forest Law was enacted to provide direct financial incentives to landowners for the provision of environmental services.[37] This helped reorient the forestry sector away from commercial timber production and the resulting deforestation, and helped create awareness of the services it provides for the economy and society (i.e. carbon

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fixation, hydrological services such as producing fresh drinking water, biodiversity protection, and provision of scenic beauty).[37]

Governance

Main article: Politics of Costa Rica

Provinces, cantons, and districts

Provinces of Costa Rica

Main articles: Provinces of Costa Rica and Cantons of Costa Rica

Costa Rica is composed of seven provinces, which in turn are divided into 81 cantons (Spanish: cantón, plural cantones), each of which is directed by a mayor. Mayors are chosen democratically every four years by each canton's people. There are no provincial legislatures. The cantons are further divided into 421 districts (distritos). The provinces are:

1. Alajuela2. Cartago3. Guanacaste4. Heredia5. Limón6. Puntarenas7. San José

Foreign relations

Main article: Foreign relations of Costa Rica

Costa Rica is an active member of the United Nations and the Organization of American States. The Inter-American Court of Human Rights and the United Nations University of Peace are based in Costa Rica. It is also a member of many other international organizations related to human rights and democracy.

A main foreign policy objective of Costa Rica is to foster human rights and sustainable development as a way to secure stability and growth.[69]

Costa Rica is a member of the International Criminal Court, without a Bilateral Immunity Agreement of protection for the United States military (as covered under Article 98).

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On 10 September 1961, some months after Fidel Castro declared Cuba a socialist state, Costa Rican President Mario Echandi ended diplomatic relations with Cuba through Executive Decree Number 2. This freeze lasted for 47 years until President Óscar Arias Sánchez announced on 18 March 2009 that normal relations were to be re-established, saying, "If we have been able to turn the page with regimes as profoundly different to our reality as occurred with the USSR or, more recently, with the Republic of China, how would we not do it with a country that is geographically and culturally much nearer to Costa Rica?" Arias also announced both countries would exchange ambassadors.[70]

Costa Rica also has a long-term disagreement with Nicaragua over the San Juan River, which defines the border between the two countries. This disagreement arises regarding Costa Rica's rights of navigation on the river.[71] In 2010, there was also a dispute around Isla Calero, and the impact of Nicaraguan dredging of the river in that area.[72]

On July 14, 2009, the Hague (ICJ) court upheld the rights Costa Ricans had to navigate for commercial purposes to subsistence fishing on their side of the river. An 1858 treaty extended navigation rights to Costa Rica, but Nicaragua denied passenger travel and fishing were part of the deal; the court ruled Costa Ricans on the river were not required to have Nicaraguan tourist cards or visas as Nicaragua alleged, but, in a nod to the Nicaraguans, ruled Costa Rican boats and passengers must stop at the first and last Nicaraguan port along their route. They must also have an identity document or passport. Nicaragua can also impose timetables on Costa Rican traffic. Nicaragua may require Costa Rican boats to display the flag of Nicaragua, but may not charge them for departure clearance from its ports. These were all specific items of contention brought to the court in the 2005 filing.[73]

On June 1, 2007, Costa Rica broke diplomatic ties with Taiwan, switching recognition to the People's Republic of China. Costa Rica was the first of the Central American nations to do so. President Óscar Arias Sánchez admitted the action was a response to economic exigency.[74] In appreciation, the PRC built Costa Rica a new, $100 million, state-of-the-art football stadium in Parque la Sabana, in the province of San José. Approximately 600 Chinese engineers and laborers took part in this project, and it was inaugurated in March 2011, with a match between the Costa Rica and China national teams.

Costa Rica finished a term on the United Nations Security Council, having been elected for a nonrenewable, two-year term in the 2007 election. Its term expired on 31 December 2009; this was Costa Rica's third time on the Security Council.

Demographics

Main articles: Demographics of Costa Rica and Costa Rican people

The 2011 census counted a population of 4,301,712 people. Whites, castizos and mestizos 83.63%,[75] while 1.05% are Black, or Afro-Caribbean, 6.12%Mulattoes, 2.4% Native American, 0.2% Chinese, and 6.6% other.[2] The average Costa Rican from the Central Valley is 75% European, 20% Amerindian and 5% Black.[76]

There are also over 104,000 Native American or indigenous inhabitants, representing 2.4% of the population. Most of them live in secluded reservations, distributed among eight ethnic groups: Quitirrisí (in the Central Valley), Matambú or Chorotega (Guanacaste), Maleku (northern Alajuela), Bribri (southern Atlantic),

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Cabécar (Cordillera de Talamanca), Guaymí (southern Costa Rica, along the Panamá border), Boruca (southern Costa Rica) and Térraba (southern Costa Rica).

The population of European ancestry is primarily of Spanish descent,[2] with significant numbers of Italian, German, English, Dutch, French, Irish, Portuguese, Lebanese, Moroccan, Syrian and Polish families, as well a sizable Jewish community. The majority of the Afro-Costa Ricans are Creole English-speaking descendants of 19th century black Jamaican immigrant workers.

The 2011 census classified 83.63% of the population as white, castizo or mestizo, Mulattoes (mix of white and black) represent now 6.12% of the total population, 2.4% as Amerindian, 2% asblack and less than 1% as asian. Native and European mixed blood populations are far less than in other Latin American countries. Exceptions are Guanacaste, where almost half the population is visibly mestizo, a legacy of the more pervasive unions between Spanish colonists and Chorotega Amerindians through several generations, and Limón, where the vast majority of the Afro-Costa Rican community lives.

Costa Rica hosts many refugees, mainly from Colombia and Nicaragua. As a result of that and illegal immigration, an estimated 10–15% (400,000–600,000) of the Costa Rican population is made up of Nicaraguans.[77][78] Some Nicaraguans migrate for seasonal work opportunities and then return to their country. Costa Rica took in many refugees from a range of other Latin American countries fleeing civil wars and dictatorships during the 1970s and 1980s, notably from Chile and Argentina, as well as people from El Salvador who fled from guerrillas and government death squads.[79]

According to the World Bank, in 2010 about 489,200 immigrants lived in the country, mainly from Nicaragua, Panama, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, and Belize, while 125,306 Costa Ricans live abroad in the United States, Panama, Nicaragua, Spain, Mexico, Canada, Germany, Venezuela, Dominican Republic, and Ecuador.[80]

Health

Main article: Health care in Costa Rica

According to the UNDP, in 2010 the life expectancy at birth for Costa Ricans was 79.3 years.[81] The Nicoya Peninsula is considered one of the Blue Zones in the world, where people commonly live active lives past the age of 100 years.[82][83] The New Economics Foundation (NEF) ranked Costa Rica first in its 2009 Happy Planet Index, and once again in 2012. The index measures the health and happiness they produce per unit of environmental input.[16][17] According to NEF, Costa Rica's lead is due to its very high life expectancy which is second highest in the Americas, and higher than the United States. The country also experienced well-being higher than many richer nations and a per capita ecological footprint one third the size of the U.S.[84]

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Hospital de Alajuela, Alajuela, Costa Rica

In 2002, there were 0.58 new general practitioner (medical) consultations and 0.33 new specialist consultations per capita, and a hospital admission rate of 8.1%. Preventive health care is also successful. In 2002, 96% of Costa Rican women used some form of contraception, and antenatal care services were provided to 87% of all pregnant women. All children under one have access to well-baby clinics, and the immunization coverage rate in 2002 was above 91% for all antigens.[citation needed] Costa Rica has a very low malaria incidence of 48 per 100,000 in 2000 and no reported cases of measles in 2002. The perinatal mortality rate dropped from 12.0 per 1000 in 1972 to 5.4 per 1000 in 2001.[85]

Costa Rica has been cited in various journals as Central America's great health success story.[citation needed] Its healthcare system is ranked higher than that of the United States, despite having a fraction of its GDP.[86] Prior to 1940, government hospitals and charities provided most health care delivery. But since the 1941 creation of the Social Security Administration (Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social – CCSS), Costa Rica has provided universal health care to its wage-earning residents, with coverage extended to dependants over time. In 1973, the CCSS took over administration of all 29 of the country's public hospitals and all health care, also launching a Rural Health Program (Programa de Salud Rural) for primary care to rural areas, later extended to primary care services nationwide. In 1993, laws were passed to enable elected health boards that represented health consumers, social security representatives, employers, and social organizations. By the year 2000, social health insurance coverage was available to 82% of the Costa Rican population. Each health committee manages an area equivalent to one of the 83 administrative cantons of Costa Rica. There is limited use of private, for-profit services (around 14.4% of the national total health expenditure). About 7% of GDP is allocated to the health sector, and over 70% is government funded. There are some threats to the universal health care model.

Primary health care facilities in Costa Rica include health clinics, with a general practitioner, nurse, clerk, pharmacist and a primary health technician. In 2008, there were five specialty national hospitals, three general national hospitals, seven regional hospitals, 13 peripheral hospitals, and 10 major clinics serving as referral centers for primary care clinics, which also deliver biopsychosocial services, family and community medical services and promotion and prevention programs. Patients can choose private health care to avoid waiting lists.[citation needed]

Costa Rica is among the Latin America countries that have become popular destinations for medical tourism.[87][88] In 2006, Costa Rica received 150,000 foreigners that came for medical treatment.[87][88][89] Costa Rica is particularly attractive to American tourists because of its proximity and short flight, the quality of medical services, and lower medical costs.[88]

Religion

Main article: Religion in Costa Rica

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Basílica de Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles (Basilica of Our Lady of the Angels), during 2007

pilgrimage

Christianity is the predominant religion, and Roman Catholicism is the official state religion according to the 1949 Constitution, which at the same time guarantees freedom of religion.

According to the most recent nationwide survey of religion, conducted in 2007 by the University of Costa Rica, 70.5% of Costa Ricans are Roman Catholics, 44.9% of the population are practicing Catholics, 13.8% are evangelical Protestants, 11.3% report they do not have a religion, and 4.3% belonged to another.

Because of the recent small but continuous immigration from Asia and the Middle East, other religions have grown, the most popular being Buddhism(because of a growing Han Chinese community of 40,000), and smaller numbers of Hindu, Jewish, Bahá’í, and Muslim adherents.

The Sinagoga Shaarei Zion synagogue [90] is near La Sabana Metropolitan Park in San José. Several homes in the neighborhood east of the park display the Star of David and other Jewish symbols.[91]

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) claim more than 35,000 members, and has a temple in San Jose that served as a regional worship center for Costa Rica, Panama, Nicaragua, and Honduras.[92] However, they represent less than 1% of the population.[93][94]

Languages

Main article: Languages of Costa Rica

The primary language spoken in Costa Rica is Costa Rican Spanish. Some native languages are still spoken in indigenous reservations. The most numerically important are the Bribri, Maléku,Cabécar and Ngäbere languages, some of which have several thousand speakers in Costa Rica – others a few hundred. Some languages, such as Teribe and Boruca, have fewer than a thousand speakers. A Creole-English language, Jamaican patois (also known as Mekatelyu), is spoken along the Caribbean coast. About 10.7% of Costa Rica's adult population (18 or older) also speaks English, 0.7% French, and 0.3% speaks Portuguese or German as a second language.[95]

Culture

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"Tradition, stability and justice": sculpture by Ibo Bonilla in the Justice Square in San José,

Costa Rica.[96]

Costa Rican breakfast with gallo pinto

The oxcart is a national symbol.

Main article: Culture of Costa Rica

See also: Costa Rican cuisine

Costa Rica was the point where the Mesoamerican and South American native cultures met. The northwest of the country, the Nicoya peninsula, was the southernmost point of Nahuatl cultural influence when the Spanish conquerors (conquistadores) came in the 16th century. The central and southern portions of the country had Chibcha influences. The Atlantic coast, meanwhile, was populated with African workers during the 17th and 18th centuries.

Costa Rican cuisine is a blend of Native American, Spanish, African and many other cuisine origins. Dishes such as the very traditional tamale and many others made of corn are the most representative of its indigenous inhabitants, and similar to other neighboring Mesoamerican countries. Spaniards brought many new ingredients to the

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country from other lands, especially spices and domestic animals. And later in the 19th century, the African flavor lent its presence with influence from other Caribbean mixed flavors. This is how Costa Rican cuisine today is very varied, with every new ethnic group who had recently become part of the country's population influencing the country's cuisine.[97][unreliable source?]

As a result of the immigration of Spaniards, their 16th-century Spanish culture and its evolution marked everyday life and culture until today, with Spanish language and the Catholic religion as primary influences.

The Department of Culture, Youth, and Sports is in charge of the promotion and coordination of cultural life. The work of the department is divided into Direction of Culture, Visual Arts, Scenic Arts, Music, Patrimony and the System of Libraries. Although the department creates many initiatives, they are constrained by lack of resources.[citation

needed] Permanent programs, such as the National Symphony Orchestra of Costa Rica and the Youth Symphony Orchestra, are conjunctions of two areas of work: Culture and Youth.[citation needed]

Dance-oriented genres, such as soca, salsa, bachata, merengue, cumbia and Costa Rican swing are enjoyed increasingly by older rather than younger people. The guitar is popular, especially as an accompaniment to folk dances; however, the marimba was made the national instrument.

"Pura Vida" is the most recognizable phrase attached to Costa Ricans, and it reflects the Costa Rican way of life. Often, people walking down the streets, or buying food at shops say hello by saying "Pura Vida", which means pure life, or good life. It can be phrased as a question or as an acknowledgement of one's presence. A recommended response to "How are you?" would be "Pura Vida".[citation needed]

Education

Main article: Education in Costa Rica

Estudios Generales (General Studies) building inside Universidad de Costa Rica

The literacy rate in Costa Rica is 94.9%,[2] one of the highest in Latin America. When the army was abolished in 1949, it was said that the "army would be replaced with an army of teachers."[98] Elementary and high schools are found throughout the country in practically every community. Universalpublic education is guaranteed in the constitution. Primary education is obligatory, and both preschool and high school are free. There are only a few schools in Costa Rica that go beyond the 12th grade. Students who finish 11th grade

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receive a Costa Rican Bachillerato Diploma accredited by the Costa Rican Ministry of Education.

There are both state and private universities, with the public universities being regarded as the best in the country, as well as being one of the best means of social mobility, given the large proportion of the budget spent to subsidize students from poor families. The University of Costa Rica has been awarded the title "Meritorious Institution of Costa Rican Education and Culture". In recent years, many private universities and colleges have consolidated because demand for higher education exceeds places available in the public sector.

The Ministry of Culture and Youth is the specialized agency in charge of the coordination of cultural life in the country. The work of the Ministry is divided into Direction of Culture, Visual Arts, Performing Arts, Music, Heritage, Library System, College of Costa Rica and Juventud.168

In general, the Ministry, but has many initiatives, they hardly see the light at the lack of resources. Notably, however, the consistency and quality of ongoing programs such as the National Symphony Orchestra of Costa Rica and the Youth Symphony Orchestra, which is a brilliant combination of two areas of work: Culture and Juventud.169

With respect to the arts, Costa Rica is characterized by high quality painters, such as Francisco Amighetti, Gonzalo Morales Saurez, Rafa Fernandez, Rodolfo Stanley, among others, as well as a strong sculptural tradition that has its roots in the fields of ancient stone, stone sculptures, jade and ceramic pre-Columbian legacy that has been cultivated and subsequently continued by sculptors such as Francisco Zuniga, Domingo Ramos, José Sancho, Max Jiménez, Ibo Bonilla and Jorge Deredia.

The Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports is only one aspect of the diverse cultural life of the country. Do not forget that Costa Rica is a multilingual and multicultural country, where social communications systems coexist very diverse ranging from Limon to Creole customs of Iberian origin, through cultures and ways of thinking as diverse as China The indigenous or Mennonite.

Always within institutions, vibrant cultural life in public universities (especially the University of Costa Rica and the National University), either through publication, organizing exhibitions, teaching university groups or activities or simply born within these houses teaching. Through its national, often extending their work throughout the país.170

But overall, the Costa Rican culture is determined more by appearance and less popular by the classic, academic. The latter is favored by official cultural institutions, who show a strong tendency to see popular culture as a failure, so they tend to ignore the preferences of many of the national cultural activities organized within a formal framework. Despite this, I must say that there has been some support for other areas considered minority or marginal, but never anything decisive. It is noteworthy that in 2006 Costa Rica was declared Capital of Culture Iberoamericana.

Movies

It occupies an important place in Costa Rica preferences, frequenting cinemas is high. However, in terms of domestic production, and despite the progress made in the sixties and in the hands of filmmakers such as Victor Vega, while in the Costa Rican Film

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Production Center (official cinematic institution, commonly known as the Center Film), the film movement declined in the late eighties.

It maintains a constant production of documentaries, many of them under order of nongovernmental organizations, and a vast advertising industry that employs a number of audiovisual professionals. In Costa Rica it is usual to have advertising campaigns for the rest of Central America, and many American productions, Europe and South America used the country as a location.

A private university offering unique film career. The University of Costa Rica through audiovisual producers graduates of the School of Mass Communication Sciences, and the National Training Institute holds Imaging Center, a technical school for video and television. There are specialists in theater graduates abroad, particularly in Cuba. This allows to expect an eventual rebound in production in this Art.

Recent efforts to create an independent film industry have hit the apathy of the state and the public. In the last 10 years there have been more feature films than in the previous 50 years. However, producers face an extremely small market makes them cover the costs of production and distribution (only good export prospects might give some hope in this regard). The problem is compounded when we note that the public is more accustomed to American movies National, a problem that far from local, affecting the entire Latin American cinema.

The Ministry of Culture has an office specializing in ensuring the development of cinema Rican. The Costa Rican Film Production Center, is the state with the lowest office budget, comparing them with the entire state apparatus as a whole. However, there are co-production efforts of this office, and independent producers. In addition, for 15 years there is a Film and Video Displays Costarricense, a festival that brings the domestic production grosso in fiction, documentary and video art.

It is noteworthy, moreover, the disappearance of old cinemas of people as "El Roble" in Alajuelita, "The Modern", the "Center City" or "Rex" (in the center of the capital). Instead cinemas have sprung big malls.

But even so, the film presents a notable exception in the cultural landscape of Costa Rica, in the sense that contrary to music, literature and theater in the country there is an audience accustomed to see independent films, alternative cinema ( addition to showing appreciation for current Hollywood productions), in short, which in some circles is considered, rightly or wrongly, as quality cinema.

The reason for this is, on one hand, the existence, for several decades, a well-known theater and alternative cinema specializing in copyright (the Sala Garbo), and, on the other, the effort made in some universities, peripheral cultural centers and even video rental centers for proposing such productions as part of thematic series (gay, Latin America, human rights, author-as Eisenstein, Truffaut, and so on).

[Edit] Theatre

National Theater of Costa Rica.

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In the field of performing arts, theatrical activity in the country is very dynamic, has a state company (the National Theatre Company) and the discipline is taught professionally in two state universities and several private institutions in the National Theatre Workshop . They work in 14 independent theaters, three rooms and some regional state, in which you can see from classical to vaudeville theater. In addition, there is often amateur theater groups in some communities.

The theater attained such development, mainly thanks to the contribution of renowned actors and directors Argentines and Chileans, who left their countries in the decade of the seventies, fleeing military regimes that were in place in the Southern Cone. The Marquee Theatre, Catania family, the Group Theatre Zurco and Angel were the main exponents during the decades between the mid-seventies and late 1980s.

For several years, the theater tico serious crisis. This crisis is the result of the general trend of the theaters (as corporate entities) to find the quickest recovery of the investment in staging. As an immediate consequence, despite the large number of theaters and variety of supply, most of the works available to the public is based on sitcoms, lacking insight.

[Edit] Dance and ballet

It also has state sponsorship, but has failed to reach the levels of popular theater. One of their top performers has been the teacher Cristina Gigirey, internationally, the independent group "Losdenmedium" directed by Jimmy Ortiz reached some significance in the nineties with renowned dancers as Doris Campbell, Florence Chaves, David Calderon Rodolfo Seas, Daniel Marenco and Andrea Catania among others. The Young Choreographers Festival brings together many of the great figures of the national dance choreography and often are of high quality. However, as in the theater, the original works are characterized by a reductionist theme (looking mask changing the title of the play) and homogenization of body expression, all of which contributes to a feeling of monotony. This is resented by the public and supporting this art is limited.

The Classical Ballet in Costa Rica does not yet have a national representation but there are ballet academies that this art project on stage. The Costa Rican Youth Ballet, the Academy of Russian Ballet, Ballet Atelier, Free Dance, Magnificat, among others, are the main ballet organizations in the country, holding a large mount scene classics like Sleeping Beauty the forest, Swan Lake, The Little Mermaid, Coppelia, Don Quixote, La Bayadere, The Firebird, Dream of a summer night among other works ... There is already projected internationally in festivals and ballet worldwide.

The National Theatre closes its season every year presenting the ballet The Nutcracker, which has been a box office success and level of ballet dancers Rican. He has performed every December since 2004 and has had the participation of the leading figures of the National Ballet of Cuba, American Ballet Theatre and Saint Petersburg Classic Ballet Theatre. It has been run on 4 occasions by Cuban Boza Peter Martin, director of the Costa Rican Youth Ballet, a group that was the first to successfully undertake the work inaugurated the country. It was also directed by Maria Amalia Banners and Patricia Carreras, and American Peggy Willis.

[Edit] Music

Cine

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Ocupa un lugar importante en las preferencias del costarricense, la frecuentación de las salas de cine es alta. Sin embargo, en cuanto a producción nacional, y a pesar de los avances alcanzados en los años sesenta y de la mano de realizadores tales como Víctor Vega, durante su permanencia en el Centro Costarricense de Producción Cinematográfica (institución cinematográfica oficial, comúnmente conocida como el Centro de Cine), el movimiento fílmico declinó a finales de los años ochenta.

Se mantiene una constante producción de documentales, muchos de ellos bajo encargo de organizaciones no gubernamentales; y una industria publicitaria vasta que emplea a un buen número de profesionales del audiovisual. En Costa Rica es usual que se realicen campañas publicitarias para el resto de América Central; y muchas producciones estadounidenses, europeas y sudamericanas utilizan al país como locación.

Una única universidad privada oferta la carrera de cine. La Universidad de Costa Rica gradúa productores audiovisuales por medio de la Escuela de Ciencias de la Comunicación Colectiva; y el Instituto Nacional de Aprendizaje posee el Centro de Imagen, una escuela técnica para vídeo y televisión. Hay especialistas graduados en cine en el extranjero, particularmente en Cuba. Esto permite esperar un eventual repunte de la producción en este Arte.

Recientes esfuerzos independientes por crear una industria cinematográfica han chocado con la apatía del Estado y del público. En los últimos 10 años se han producido más largometrajes deficción que en los 50 años anteriores. Sin embargo, los productores se enfrentan a un mercado sumamente pequeño que les dificulta sufragar los costos de producción ni de distribución (sólo buenas perspectivas de exportación podrían dar alguna esperanza en este sentido). La problemática se agrava cuando observamos que el público está más acostumbrado a ver películas estadounidenses que nacionales, una problemática que lejos de ser local, afecta a la totalidad del cine latinoamericano.

El Ministerio de Cultura posee una oficina especializada en velar por el desarrollo del cine costarricense. El Centro Costarricense de Producción Cinematográfica, es la oficina del estado con menor presupuesto, comparándolas con todo el aparato estatal en su totalidad. Sin embargo, se dan esfuerzos de coproducción entre esta oficina, y productores independientes. Además, desde hace 15 años se realiza la Muestra de Cine y Vídeo Costarricense, un festival que reúne el grosso de la producción nacional en ficción, documental y videoarte.

Cabe mencionar, por otra parte, la desaparición de antiguos cines de pueblo, como "El Roble" en Alajuelita, "El Moderno", el "Center City" o el "Rex" (en el centro del la capital). En su lugar han proliferado los cines de grandes centros comerciales.

No obstante, aun así, el cine presenta una excepción importante en el panorama cultural costarricense, en el sentido de que contrario a la música, la literatura y el teatro, en el país existe un público acostumbrado a ver cine de autor, cine alternativo (además de mostrar aprecio por las producciones corrientes hollywoodenses), en suma, lo que en algunos círculos se considera, con o sin razón, como cine de calidad.

El motivo de esto es, por un lado, la existencia, desde hace varias décadas, de una conocida sala de cine especializada en cine alternativo y de autor (la Sala Garbo), y, por el otro, el esfuerzo efectuado en algunas universidades, centros culturales periféricos e incluso centros de alquiler de videos por proponer tales producciones dentro del marco de series temáticas (gay,latinoamericano, de derechos humanos, de autor -como Eisenstein, Truffaut-, etcétera).

[editar]Teatro

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Teatro Nacional de Costa Rica.

En el campo de las artes escénicas, la actividad teatral del país es muy dinámica, posee una compañía estatal (la Compañía Nacional de Teatro) y la disciplina se enseña profesionalmente en dos universidades estatales, en varios institutos privados y en el Taller Nacional de Teatro. Funcionan en 14 salas de teatro independiente, tres salas estatales y algunas regionales; en las que se puede ver desde teatro clásico hasta vodevil. Además, es frecuente que haya grupos teatro de aficionados en algunas comunidades.

El teatro logró tal desarrollo, gracias sobre todo al aporte de reconocidos actores y directores argentinos y chilenos, quienes abandonaron sus países en la década de los años setenta, huyendo de los regímenes militares que se habían instaurado en el cono sur. El Teatro Carpa, la familia Catania, el Grupo Zurco y el Teatro del Ángel fueron los principales exponentes durante las décadas comprendidas entre mediados de los años setenta y fines de años 1980.

Desde hace varios años, el teatro tico atraviesa una grave crisis. Esta crisis es el resultado de la tendencia general de los teatros (como entidades empresariales) a buscar la más rápida recuperación de lo invertido en la puesta en escena. Como consecuencia inmediata, a pesar de la gran cantidad de teatros y de la variedad de la oferta, la mayoría de las obras disponibles al gran público está basada en comedias de situaciones, carentes de introspección.

[editar]Danza y ballet clásico

Posee también patrocinio estatal, sin embargo no ha logrado los niveles de alcance popular del teatro. Una de sus máximas ejecutantes ha sido la maestra Cristina Gigirey; a nivel internacional, el grupo independiente "Losdenmedium", dirigido por Jimmy Ortiz alcanzó cierta trascendencia en la década de los noventa con bailarines de reconocida trayectoria como Doris Campbell, Florencia Chaves, David Calderón, Rodolfo Seas, Daniel Marenco y Andrea Catania entre otros. El Festival de Jóvenes Coreógrafos reúne a muchas de las grandes figuras de la danza nacional y a menudo las coreografías son de gran calidad. Sin embargo, igual que en el teatro, las obras originales se caracterizan por un reduccionismo temático (que buscan disimular cambiando el título de la obra) y homogeneización de la expresión corporal, todo lo cual contribuye a dar un sentimiento de monotonía. Esto es resentido por el público y el apoyo a este arte se ve limitado.

El Ballet Clásico en Costa Rica no cuenta aún con una representación nacional pero si existen academias de ballet que proyectan este arte al escenario. El Ballet Juvenil Costarricense, La Academia superior de ballet clásico ruso, el Ballet Atelier, Danza Libre, Magnificat, entre otros, son las principales organizaciones de ballet en el país, llevando a cabo un amplio montaje en escena de obras clásicas como La Bella durmiente del bosque, el Lago de los Cisnes, La sirenita, Coppelia, Don

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Quijote, La Bayadera, el pájaro de Fuego, Sueño de una noche de verano entre otras obras... Ya se cuenta con proyecciones a nivel internacional en festivales y encuentros de ballet a nivel mundial.

El Teatro Nacional cierra su temporada de todos los años presentando el ballet clásico El Cascanueces, el cual ha sido un éxito en taquilla y nivel de los bailarines de ballet clásico costarricenses. Se ha presentado todos los diciembres desde el 2004 y ha contado con la participación de las primeras figuras del Ballet Nacional de Cuba, American Ballet Theatre y Saint Petersburg Classic Ballet Theatre. Ha sido dirigido en 4 ocasiones por el cubano Pedro Martín Boza,director del Ballet Juvenil Costarricense, grupo que fue el primero en encargarse con gran éxito de inaugurar la obra en el país. Ha sido dirigido también por María Amalia Pendones y Patricia Carreras; y la norteamericana Peggy Willis.

[editar]Música

Orquesta sinfónica de Heredia.

La Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de Costa Rica, fundada hace más de 60 años, es una de las orquestas más reconocidas de América. Desde 2004 se encuentra bajo la batuta del maestro japonés Chosei Komatsu. Esta orquesta se encuentra a la base de un encomiable proyecto cultural nacido a principios de los años setenta por iniciativa del entonces Ministro de Cultura, Guido Sáenz, que consistió en la creación de la Orquesta Sinfónica Juvenil, para lo cual el entonces Presidente, José Figueres Ferrer, invitó al país al director de orquesta estadounidense, Gerald Brown. 169

Dentro del marco de la música clásica cabe mencionar, además, el Coro Sinfónico Nacional, la Compañía Lírica Nacional y la Dirección General de Bandas. Un importante centro de educación musical media lo constituye el Conservatorio Castella, institución secundaría única en su tipo en América Central. De este conservatorio se ha egresado la gran mayoría de músicos en el país desde su fundación en 1953, entre los que podemos mencionar a Eddie Mora Bermúdez, Allen Torres, Francisco Piedra Vargas, entre otros.171

La música tropical ocupa un lugar privilegiado en los gustos del costarricense por su afición al baile. Los ritmos de la salsa, el merengue y el reggaese escuchan en muchos de los rincones más inopinados de este país. Muchos grupos han desfilado por las tarimas nacionales entre ellos, Los Brillanticos, La Selección, Orquesta Explosión. Es interesante notar que hay músicos de la Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de Costa Rica que también tocan ya sea en la escena alternativa, ya sea en grupos de música tropical, con lo que el círculo es completo, muestra de amplia apertura a todos los temas y estilos.172

[editar]LiteraturaArtículo principal: Literatura de Costa Rica.

Pilares de la literatura costarricense

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Joaquín García Monge.

Carmen Lyra.

Joaquín Gutiérrez, Isaac Felipe Azofeifa y Fabián Dobles.

La literatura de Costa Rica tiene antecedentes en la colonia y marcada influencia europea. Al ser Costa Rica un país joven, su literatura también lo es, y se puede iniciar su historia hacia finales del siglo XIX. Durante el periodo colonial es poco lo que puede recopilarse de la literatura en aquel tiempo, la mayoría de los textos no pasan de un mero carácter epistolar y prosa administrativa. A finales del siglo XIX es posible encontrar, aunque escasa, literatura costumbrista, anécdotas pintorescas, crónicas y poemas sentimentalistas de tendencia romántica. Algunos poemas fueron recopilados en el libro la "Lira costarricense" (1890-1891) compilada por Máximo Fernández.

La periodización de la literatura costarricense que tiene mayor vigencia es la propuesta por el profesor Álvaro Quesada Soto,173 según él cual pueden reconocerse cinco periodos, a los cuales tradicionalmente se les conoce con el nombre de generaciones:

La generación del Olimpo o Generación del 900 (1890-1920)

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Periodo de apogeo liberal y oligárquico, que provocó cambios importantes en las estructuras sociales y laborales. La literatura de esta época participa en el proceso de formación y consolidación de una conciencia nacional. Destacan las novelas "El moto"(1900) de Joaquín García Monge y "El árbol enfermo" de Carlos Gagini; las "Concherías" (1905) de Aquileo Echeverría; así como la poesía de Roberto Brenes Mesén; las numerosas obras históricas de Ricardo Fernández Guardia y la laureada obra de Manuel González Zeledón (Magón).

La generación del Repertorio Americano o Vanguardia (1920-1940)

Denominada de esta forma por encontrarse ligada a la revista Repertorio Americano de Joaquín García Monge. Durante este período se da la crisis del régimen oligárquico liberal, por eso la literatura de esta época se caracteriza por presentar nuevas formas discursivas, como el estilo grotesco, el humor feroz y corrosivo, la parodia y la sátira. Destaca la obra del mismo García Monge, del escritor José Marín Cañas, de los poetas Isaac Felipe Azofeifa y Eunice Odio, del escritor, periodista, poeta y pintor Max Jiménez; del también pintor Francisco Amighetti y de la escritora Carmen Lyra, inmortalizada en la literatura costarricense especialmente por su obra Cuentos de mi Tía Panchita, considerados clásicos de la literatura infantil costarricense.

La generación del 40 (1940-1960)

Durante esta época, se implanta la socialdemocracia en Costa Rica. Se crea el capítulo de "Las Garantías Sociales" por Manuel Mora Valverde. Es una época de cuestionamientos y renovaciones, de importantes reformas sociales y de un nuevo concepto de Estado. Los principales temas que tratan las obras literarias de este tiempo son la problemática social, la distribución de la tierra y la dependencia de las compañías transnacionales. El realismo literario será la consigna de estos escritores: Joaquín Gutiérrez (Cocorí, Manglar, Puerto Limón, Murámonos Federico, Te acordás hermano), Carlos Luis Fallas (Mamita Yunai, Gentes y gentecillas, Marcos Ramírez), Fabián Dobles (Historias de Tata Mundo en línea), Carlos Luis Sáenz (Mulita mayor), el poeta Julián Marchena (Alas en Fuga); la poetisa y novelista Yolanda Oreamuno (La Ruta de su evasión); y el cuentista Carlos Salazar Herrera (Cuentos de Angustias y Paisajes).

La generación urbana (1960-1980)

Durante este tiempo se concreta en Costa Rica un proceso de modernización e industrialización. En la literatura de esta época aparece como temática predominante la ciudad. Es la época del Círculo de Poetas Costarricenses con Jorge Debravo (Nosotros los hombres), Laureano Albán (Herencia de otoño), Marco Aguilar (Raigambres), Julieta Dobles (Costa Rica poema a poema, Cartas a Camila), Francisco Zúñiga Díaz (Cuentos prohibidos, El amor y algunos entredichos),Alfonso Chase (Cultivo una rosa blanca, Historias de las tierras del Tigre de Agua y el Colibrí de Fuego), así como escritores como Quince Duncan (Los cuentos del Hermano Araña), Alberto Cañas Escalante (Los molinos de Dios, Oldemar y los coroneles,Uvieta), Carmen Naranjo (Canción de la ternura, Más allá del Parismina) y José León Sánchez (La isla de los hombres solos).

La generación del desencanto o Posmodernidad (1980-act.)

La temática de las obras de este periodo parece enmarcarse dentro de un mismo contexto: el desencanto con el modelo de Estado promovido por los políticos costarricenses. Destacan los nombres de Anacristina Rossi (La Loca de Gandoca), Ana Istarú (La muerte y otros efímeros agravios, El vuelo de la grulla), Osvaldo Sauma (Retrato en familia) y Rodolfo Arias Formoso (El Emperador Tertuliano y la Legión de los Superlimpios, La Madriguera) entre otros.

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[editar]Escultura

El arte escultórico costarricense tiene sus inicios más tempranos en la época precolombina. Costa Rica como zona de transición, fue puente cultural de intercambio de bienes y servicios de las zonas de influencia mesoamericana y del sector de tradición suramericana, por lo que el arte posee características de estilos de otras zonas, pero no es imitación de estos, sino que se vio enriquecido por elementos, creencias y simbologías que lo dotaron de una fuerte personalidad, transformándolo en un estilo propio. Se advierte una nutrida expresión artística en la cerámica; la lapidaria en jade y piedra; la metalurgia, el vaciado y el fundido en oro; y el tallado en piedra. Destacan las esferas de piedra como un hito por su síntesis formal, es decir, que para una cultura en que lo común eran las formas altamente elaboradas y llenas de pictogramas, la conceptualización de la esfera como síntesis artística, simbólica y formal denota un grado de madurez plástico único. No obstante, su construcción y significado siguen siendo enigmáticos, pues si bien existen en otras culturas, nunca con el tamaño ni en las cantidades que se hallan en el país.

"Espiral del éxito": escultura elaborada en acero, basada en las ancestrales esferas de piedra y el concepto místico de

"la Flor de la Vida", con sus 18 metros es la más alta de Costa Rica 174 , ubicada en Tres Ríos, obra del escultor y

arquitecto Ibo Bonilla.

Durante el período colonial, este maravillo arte se centra básicamente en temas religiosos, como por ejemplo la creación de estatuas de vírgenes, santos, ángeles o cruces, sin embargo, no van a surgir escultores reconocidos. No es sino hasta finales del siglo XIX donde van a aparecer dos precursores de la escultura moderna: Fadrique Gutiérrez (1841-1897) y Juan Mora González (¿1860?-¿?), cuyo trabajo se destaca principalmente en la imaginería. Lo significativo de estos dos precursores es el hecho de que la escultura costarricense contemporánea nace en los talleres imagineros y no en la academia (la Escuela de Bellas Artes se había creado en 1897).

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Dos artistas, Juan Ramón Bonilla (1882-1944) y Juan Rafael Chacón (1894-1982), van a dar un gran impulso a la escultura costarricense con la llegada del siglo XX. Ellos, al viajar a Europa, entraron en contacto, el primero, con las técnicas de talla del mármol en Italia, y el segundo, con las obras escultóricas de diferentes artistas en España. Destacan en sus trabajos, la celebrada Los héroes de la miseria, en mármol, de Bonilla, obra creada en Italia en 1908 y luego traída a Costa Rica; se encuentra en el vestíbulo del Teatro Nacional de Costa Rica; y Desesperanza o Desesperada, talla directa en madera, de Chacón, una de sus piezas más reconocidas.

El sentimiento nacionalista que se empieza a desarrollar con la nueva intelectualidad de principios de siglo y las luchas sociales de la época ofrecen un marco idóneo a los jóvenes artistas que inician su trabajo en la década de 1930. Entre estos jóvenes se encuentran Max Jiménez (1900-1947), Juan Manuel Sánchez (1907-1990), Francisco Zúñiga (1912-1998) y Néstor Zeledón Varela (1903-2000), los cuales serían conocidos como La Nueva Sensibilidad o Generación de los Treinta. De ellos, Francisco Zúñiga emerge como el escultor más definido y universal de Costa Rica en el siglo XX. Afincado en México, donde encontrará una atmósfera propicia para desarrollar todo su talento, tanto que hoy en ese país es considerado como uno de los grandes artistas del siglo XX, produjo una obra numerosa y de gran calidad estética en pequeño y gran formato. Entre sus principales obras se encuentran: Alegoría de la Tierra y las Comunicaciones (piedra, friso de 7 metros de alto en el edificio de la Secretaría de Comunicaciones y Obras Públicas; SCOP, México D.F), Monumento a los Fundadores de Nuevo Laredo (bronce), Monumento al poeta Ramón López Velarde (bronce, Zacatecas, México), La riqueza del mar (grupo en concreto 9 × 3 m . Veracruz, México), Monumento al agricultor costarricense (bronce, Alajuela, Costa Rica), Monumento a la Libertad (piedra, San Salvador, El Salvador), Física nuclear (bronce, bosque de Chapultepec, México, D.F.), Friso en el Banco de México (piedra), Yalalteca (bronce), Mujer sentada (mármol negro), Mujer sentada con rebozo(bronce), Grupo de mujeres en pie (bronce), Mujer en la puerta (bronce), Frente al mar (bronce, grupo), La familia (bronce), Coloquio (bronce), etc. En jardines y parques de México, Japón, El Salvador, Filipinas, Ecuador, Argentina, Estados Unidos y Costa Rica hay monumentos suyos. La obra de Francisco Zúñiga (quien también realizó grabado, dibujo, litografía y poesía), giró en torno al desnudo femenino, su indigenismo fue síntesis de la condición humana.

Escultura de Jorge Jiménez Deredia en el Foro Romano, Italia. 2009.

Durante la Segunda Guerra Mundial (1939-1945) y en sus años posteriores, las artes visuales acusaron un período de poca actividad. No es sino hasta los años 60 que, con la introducción del arte abstracto, surge el grupo de Los ocho, integrado por seis pintores (Luis Daell, Harold Fonseca, Rafael Ángel García, Manuel de la Cruz González, Guillermo Jiménez y César Valverde) y dos escultores, Néstor Zeledón Guzmán (1933) y Hernán González (1918-1987). Este grupo fue fundamental para el despegue del arte nacional. En este período aparece la obra de Olger Villegas

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(1934) dentro de la tradición figurativa con marcada influencia de Francisco Zúñiga y del realismo social mexicano: Maternidad, Madre indoamericana,Maternidad negra (talla en piedra), Monumento a las Garantías Sociales (grupo de bronce).

Luego de los años sesenta la escultura se abre a una serie de estilos, búsquedas, lenguajes y materiales. A pesar de ello, la tradición de la talla en madera y piedra va a mantener su predominio. En ese abanico se abren dos grandes campos en la creación escultórica de nuestros días: la naturalista/realista (Olger Villegas, Crisanto Badilla, Fernando Calvo, Mario Parra y Leda Astorga) ligada a la talla en madera y piedra, la cual se renueva constantemente tanto en su temática como en su estilo; y otra que concede mayor énfasis a la tendencia abstracta o simbólico/metafísica (José Sancho, Aquiles Jiménez, Edgar Zúñiga, Marisel Jiménez, Franklin Zúñiga, Luis Arias, Emilio Argüello, Manuel Vargas, Domingo Ramos, Ibo Bonilla, Jorge Jiménez Deredia y Esteban Coto).

Es Jorge Jiménez Deredia el escultor costarricense más reconocido a nivel nacional e internacional en la actualidad. Jiménez Deredia es el primer escultor latinoamericano en colocar una obra en la Basílica de San Pedro: la Estatua de San Marcelino Champagnat, en mármol de Carrara. También es el primer artista contemporáneo en exponer sus obras en el Foro Romano, el más importante sitio arqueológico y patrimonial de la capital italiana. Educado en la escuela italiana, la obra de Jiménez Deredia gira en torno al tema de la maternidad, con la esfera como tema recurrente, inspiradas en las antiguas esferas de piedra precolombinas de la cultura del Valle de Díquis.

Heredia Symphony Orchestra.

The National Symphony Orchestra of Costa Rica, founded more than 60 years, is one of the most renowned orchestras in America. Since 2004, under the baton of maestro Chosei Komatsu Japanese. This orchestra is based on a commendable cultural project born in the early seventies on the initiative of Culture Minister Guido Sáenz, which was the establishment of the National Youth Orchestra, for which the then President, José Figueres Ferrer, invited the country to American conductor, Gerald Brown. 169

Within the framework of classical music include also the National Symphonic Choir, the National Lyric Company and the Department of Bands. An important center of musical education constitutes half the Castella Conservatory, only secondary institution of its kind in Central America. This academy has graduated the vast majority of musicians in the country since its founding in 1953, among which we can mention Eddie Mora Bermudez, Allen Torres, Francisco Vargas Piedra, among otros.171

Tropical music has a special place in the likes of Costa Rica for their love of dance. The rhythms of salsa, merengue and reggae heard in many of the most unexpected corners of this country. Many groups have paraded through the national platforms including Los Brillanticos, selection, Explosion Orchestra. Interestingly, there are musicians of the National Symphony Orchestra of Costa Rica also play either in the alternative scene, whether in tropical bands, so the circle is complete, open wide sample of all themes and styles 0.172

[Edit] Literature

Main article: Literature of Costa Rica.

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Pillars of Costa Rican literature

Joaquín García Monge.

Carmen Lyra.

Joaquin Gutierrez, Isaac Fabian Felipe Azofeifa and Doubles.

The literature of Costa Rica has a history in the colonial and European influences. Costa Rica As a young country, so is its literature, and its history can be started by the end of the nineteenth century. During the colonial period there is little that can be gathered from the literature at that time, most of the texts are no more a mere administrative character and prose letters. In the late nineteenth century can be found, although sparse, folk literature, picturesque anecdotes, stories and poems sentimental romantic trend. Some poems were collected in the book the "Lira Rican" (1890-1891) compiled by Max Fernandez.

Periodization of Costa Rican literature is more effective is the proposal by Professor Alvaro Soto Quesada, 173 according to which five periods can be recognized, to which they are traditionally known for generations:

The generation of Olympus or Generation 900 (1890-1920)

Liberal heyday and oligarchic, prompting major changes in social structures and labor. The literature of this time involved in the process of formation and consolidation of a national consciousness. Highlights include the novels "The Motorcycle" (1900) by Joaquin Garcia Monge and "sick tree" of Carlos Gagini, the "Concherías" (1905) Achilles Echeverría, as well as the poetry of Roberto Brenes Mesén; numerous historical works of Ricardo Fernandez Guardia and lauded by Manuel Gonzalez Zeledon (Mago).

The American Repertory generation or Vanguard (1920-1940)

Thus named because they were tied to the magazine American Repertory Joaquín García Monge. During this period there is the crisis of liberal oligarchic regime, so the literature of this period is characterized by new forms of discourse, as the grotesque style, fierce and corrosive humor, parody and satire. Emphasizes the works by García Monge, José Marín Cañas writer, poets Isaac Felipe Azofeifa and Eunice Odio, the writer, journalist, poet and painter Max Jimenez Francisco Amighetti of the painter and writer Carmen Lyra, immortalized in the Costa Rican literature especially for his work Tales of My Aunt Panchita, considered classics of children's literature Rican.

The generation of 40 (1940-1960)

During this time, the Social implants in Costa Rica. Chapter is created "social guarantees" by Manuel Mora Valverde. It is a time of questioning and renovations, major social reforms and a new concept of state. The main themes addressed by the literary works of this period are the social problems, the distribution of land and dependence on transnational corporations. The literary realism is the slogan of these writers: Joaquín Gutiérrez (Cocorí, Mangroves, Puerto Limon, Murámonos Federico, you remember brother), Carlos Luis Fallas (Mamita Yunai, People and gentecillas, Marcos Ramirez), Fabian Doubles (Tata World Stories online), Carlos Luis Sáenz (Mulita greater), the poet Julian Marchena (Wings

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in Flight), the poet and novelist Yolanda Oreamuno (The Path of evasion) and the storyteller Carlos Salazar Herrera (Tales of Sorrows and Landscapes).

The urban generation (1960-1980)

During this particular time in Costa Rica a process of modernization and industrialization. In the literature of this period appears as predominant theme town. It's the time of the Costa Rican Poets Circle with Jorge Debravo (We men), Laureano Albán (Fall Heritage), Marco Aguilar (Raigambres), Julieta Doubles (Costa Rica poem to poem, Letters to Camila), Francisco Zuniga Diaz (Tales forbidden love and some prohibitions), Alfonso Chase (a white rose, Stories land Tiger Hummingbird Water and Fire), and writers like Quince Duncan (The Tales of Brother Spider), Alberto Cañas Escalante ( The mills of God, Oldemar and colonels, Uvieta), Carmen Naranjo (Song of tenderness, Beyond Parismina) and José León Sánchez (Island of single men).

The generation of disenchantment or Postmodernism (1980-current.)

The theme of the works of this period seems framed within a context: the disenchantment with the state model promoted by the Costa Rican politicians. Notable names Anacristina Rossi (La Loca Gandoca), Ana Istarú (Death and other ephemeral grievances, Flight of the crane), Osvaldo Sauma (Family Portrait) and Rodolfo Arias Formoso (The Emperor Tertullian and the Legion of extra clean, The Burrow) among others.

[Edit] Sculpture

The Costa Rican sculptural art has its earliest beginnings in pre-Columbian times. Costa Rica as a transition zone, was cultural bridge for exchange of goods and services in the areas of influence Mesoamerican and South American tradition sector, so the art style has characteristics of other areas, but this is not imitation, but that was enriched by elements, beliefs and symbols that endowed it with a strong personality, making it a unique style. It warns a rich artistic expression in ceramics, jade lapidary and stone metallurgy, casting and cast in gold and stone carving. Highlights the areas of stone as a landmark for its formal synthesis, ie to a culture in which the forms were usually highly processed and full of pictograms, the conceptualization of the sphere as artistic synthesis, symbolic and formal denotes a degree of single plastic maturity. However, its construction and meaning remain enigmatic, because although there are in other cultures, never with the size or in the quantities that are in the country.

"Spiral of Success": sculpture made of steel, based on ancient stone spheres and the mystical concept of "Flower of Life", with its 18 meters is the highest in Costa Rica 174, located in Three Rivers, work the sculptor and architect Ibo Bonilla.

During the colonial period, this wonderful art is centered on religious themes, such as the creation of statues of virgins, saints, angels or crosses, however, will not arise recognized sculptors. Not until the late nineteenth century which will appear two precursors of modern sculpture: Fadrique Gutiérrez (1841-1897) and Juan Mora Gonzalez (? 1860? -?), Whose work stands out in the imagery. The significance of these two precursors is the fact that the sculpture Rican born contemporary sculptors in the workshops and in academia (School of Fine Arts was created in 1897).

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Two artists, Juan Ramon Bonilla (1882-1944) and Juan Rafael Chacón (1894-1982), will give a big boost to sculpture Rican with the arrival of the twentieth century. They, travel to Europe, came into contact, the first, with the techniques of carving marble in Italy, and the second, with sculptures by different artists in Spain. Excel in their work, the celebrated heroes of misery, in marble, Bonilla, a work created in Italy in 1908 and then brought to Costa Rica, is located in the lobby of the National Theatre of Costa Rica, and hopelessness or despair, size direct wood, Chacón, one of his most recognized.

Nationalist sentiment is beginning to develop with the new intelligentsia of the century and the social struggles of the time provide a suitable framework to young artists who began their work in the 1930s. These young people are Max Jiménez (1900-1947), Juan Manuel Sánchez (1907-1990), Francisco Zúñiga (1912-1998) and Nestor Zeledón Varela (1903-2000), which became known as the New Generation Sensitivity or Thirty. Of these, Francisco Zúñiga emerge as universal and defined sculptor of Costa Rica in the twentieth century. Based in Mexico, where you will find an atmosphere to develop their talent, both in this country today is considered one of the great artists of the twentieth century, there was a large piece of high aesthetic quality and in small and large format. Among his major works are: Allegory of Earth and Communications (stone frieze of seven meters high in the building of the Ministry of Communications and Works, SCOP, Mexico City), Monument to the Founders of Nuevo Laredo (bronze ), Monument to the poet Ramón López Velarde (bronze, Zacatecas, Mexico), The wealth of the sea (specifically group 9 × 3 m. Veracruz, Mexico), Costa Rican Farmer Memorial (bronze, Alajuela, Costa Rica), Monument Freedom (Stone, San Salvador, El Salvador), Nuclear Physics (bronze, Chapultepec Park, Mexico City), Frieze at the Bank of Mexico (stone), Yalalteca (bronze), Seated Woman (black marble), Seated Woman rebozo (bronze), Group of women standing (bronze), Women in the door (bronze) Oceanfront (brass band), The Family (Bronze) Symposium (bronze), etc. In gardens and parks in Mexico, Japan, El Salvador, the Philippines, Ecuador, Argentina, United States and Costa Rica's own monuments. The work of Francisco Zuniga (who also did printmaking, drawing, lithography and poetry), focused on the female nude, her Indianism was synthesis of the human condition.

Deredia Jorge sculpture in the Roman Forum, Italy. 2009.

During World War II (1939-1945) and in his later years, visual arts accused a period of low activity. It is not until the 60s that, with the introduction of abstract art, there is the Group of Eight, consisting of six painters (Luis Daell, Harold Fonseca, Rafael Ángel García, Manuel de la Cruz Gonzalez, Guillermo Jimenez and Cesar Valverde) and two sculptors, Zeledon Nestor Guzman (1933) and Hernán González (1918-1987). This group was instrumental in the launch of national art. In this period the work of Olger appears Villegas (1934) within the figurative tradition with strong influence of Francisco Zúñiga and Mexican social realist: Maternity, Mother American Indian, black Maternity (stone carving), Monument to the Social Guarantees (group bronze).

After the sixties sculpture opens a number of styles, search, languages and materials. However, the tradition of wood carving and stone will remain dominant. In this range there are two large fields in creating sculpture of our time: the naturalistic / realistic (Olger Villegas, Crisanto Badilla, Fernando Calvo, Mario Parra and Leda Astorga) linked to wood and stone carving, which is constantly renewed both in its theme and in its style, and

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one that gives greater emphasis to the tendency abstract or symbolic / metaphysical (Jose Sancho, Achilles Jimenez, Edgar Zuniga, Marisel Jimenez, Franklin Zuniga, Luis Arias, Emilio Arguello, Manuel Vargas, Domingo Ramos , Ibo Bonilla, Jorge Jimenez and Esteban Deredia Coto).

It Deredia Jorge Costa Rican sculptor best known nationally and internationally today. Deredia is the first Latin American sculptor in a work place in the Basilica of St. Peter: the Statue of Saint Marcellin Champagnat, in Carrara marble. It is also the first artist to exhibit contemporary works in the Roman Forum, the most important archaeological and heritage of the Italian capital. Educated in the Italian school of Deredia work revolves around the theme of motherhood, with the area as a recurring theme, inspired by the ancient pre-Columbian stone spheres of culture Diquis Valley.

[Edit] Drink

The Costa Rican Creole cuisine was created with the contribution of three main cultural influences: the indigenous, the Spanish and the africana.175 is, therefore, a mestizo kitchen, where it was cooked mixture in the pan with the pot Columbian Spanish plus the creative contribution of African culture and other peoples who have arrived in Costa Rican soil.

Churchill, traditional dessert puntarenense

From pre-Hispanic cuisine from corn tortillas, avocado, palm, peach and tamal (the latter is usually prepared, in Costa Rica, for the feast of Christmas and New Year, and wrapped in banana leaves). The Europeans, on their arrival in America, they found corn, cacao, annatto, potato, pumpkin, squash, chayote, chili, tomatoes, yucca, avocado, custard apple, pineapple, papaya and guava. Aborigines prior to the Spanish arrival, had a rich universe with the corn diet for energy, protein beans, various berries, combined with a variety of hunting (wild pigs, wild pigs, deer, iguanas, rabbits , tapirs, manatees, agoutis, armadillos, various birds, among which the turkey, unknown to Europeans) and fishing, cooking deliciously seasoned with salt, Apazote, vanilla, varieties of chile, cilantro coyote and others, using cocoa butter cooking. Stresses in the Central Valley of Costa Rica, pipian, ketchup based squash and red pepper, the Aztec heritage and brought to the country by chorotegas, still prepared in the same manner as in ancient times. 176

With the Spanish arrival, came cattle, goats, pigs and poultry, as well as techniques for preservation (smoking, drying, investment in vinegar and salt, wrap in fat), and the formation of picadillos (it is believed, derived from Andalusian stew called starters), dish the Indians added to consumption accompanied by tortillas. The Andalusian influence appears in other Costa Rican dishes like meatballs and in the bakery: the ears, the donuts, the tosteles, the smithereens (who acquired tropical tone added to them guava jelly), the prestiños (mixture of wheat flour baked and crispy, with honey from sugar cane), quesadillas and ribs. Notably, the Andalusians were one of the first Spanish largest groups in arriving at Costa Rica.177 picadillos Among highlights the arracache chopped (from root Diquis area), mince the chili sauce (mixture of chayote and corn), which is cantonal variations (for example, in Greece, consisting of white beans and squash, and in Athens, with the same potato and beans), potato hash with meat mince the flower itabo with egg

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(consumed especially in parts of the Central Valley, as the canton of Acosta, for example), the green beans with minced meat, etc.178

The Costa Rican dish that best sums up the mixture of indigenous and Spanish is the pot of meat, considered by some as the quintessential Creole dish, served hot 179 usually accompanied by white rice (or achiotado) and tortillas. It originates from the meat pot potpourri Spanish, that Europeans enriched with vegetables own country.

Breakfast with gallo pinto with eggs, toast and fried plantain.

With the arrival of the Africans, we introduced a feature of the Afro-Caribbean cuisine: the wooden spoon, which allowed new methods of cooking and preparing dishes. According to some scholars, 180 the Costa Rican dish where more African influence is perceived is the gallo pinto, a mixture of rice and black beans (sometimes red), whose traces can be found in various Afro-Caribbean dishes from around the continent (Moors and Christians, and congrí in Cuba, marriage of El Salvador, Brazilian feijoada, tacu-tacu Peruvian Hoppin'John South America). The gallo pinto is often used as breakfast, and usually served with eggs any style, tortilla chips and sour cream. Preparation of gallo pinto varies not only from country to country, but also in every region of Costa Rica, being roasted and grease in Guanacaste, wetter, less greasy and cilantro in the Central Valley, and special preparation (based coconut) and unique taste in the Caribbean: the rice and beans, which can be served with a beef steak, a steak or fried fish, accompanied by fried plantains (fried green plantains).


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