According to Trackaah, Costa Rica is one of South and Central America’s most politically and economically stable nations – in part because it has no army. Instead, the government spends much of its tax money on health care and education. Costa Rica is also known for its biodiversity, which can be seen and met everywhere in parks and nature reserves. The protected forests and areas cover almost a third of the country and have laid the foundations for the growing eco-tourism.
As a visitor to Costa Rica, you can hike up into the cloud-covered mountains, explore rivers in the jungle and get warm up on active volcanoes, and the country is so popular with tourists that they make up its largest industry. Although Costa Rica’s nature is beautiful and varied, about half of the population lives in the modern (large) cities.
About 95% of the population are descendants of European immigrants, and almost all are well-educated, hospitable and remarkably laid-back – they take things as they come. Community is important to ticos (people from Costa Rica) and they are always ready to lend a helping hand. Loyalty and friendship are very important in Costa Rica.
- CAPITAL CITY: San José
- LANGUAGE: Spanish
- CURRENCY: Costa Rican Colon (CRC)
- AREA: 51,100 km2
- POPULATION: 4,773,130
People and community
Although you may end up living anywhere in Costa Rica, it will likely be in a suburban or urban area. It is much appreciated to share among the extended family, so you can easily expect that family life will play a significant role during your stay. Meals are often filled with passionate conversations on several different topics, and especially on weekends, the conversations can last for longer.
You will probably have to go to a public school where the school year runs from February to December. According to TopSchoolsintheUSA, the school day usually lasts from 08:00 to 16:30. Students in Costa Rica wear school uniforms. You can always participate in sports tournaments with your school or in the community, or if you prefer in a music group or other different clubs, for example, you also have the opportunity to do so.
Spanish is the official language of Costa Rica, but some people also speak English very well. You do not need to know Spanish before the program, but if you have a basic knowledge of Spanish or English it will be useful.
Potatoes, eggs, corn, rice, beans and dairy products are important elements of Costa Rican cuisine. During the week, meat or fish are not necessarily included. In Costa Rica you will experience a large selection of fresh fruits, fruit juices and vegetables.