jueves, 17 de mayo de 2012


Costa Rica (officially the Republic of Costa Rica) is a country in Central America. Bordered on the north by the Republic of Nicaragua and the southeast by the Republic of Panama. It has 4,301,712 inhabitants according to census data in 2011. Its territory, with a total area of ​​51,100 km ², is bordered to the east by the Caribbean Sea and west by the Pacific Ocean.

Its capital, political and economic center is San Jose, and the official language is Spanish.

Costa Rica is one of the most stable democracies in Latin, is the only Latin American country on the list of the 22 oldest democracies worldwide recognition world.6 being the first nation in the world to abolish the army on December 1 1948, abolition was perpetuated in the Constitution of 1949.

Costa Rica ranks fifth worldwide in the classification of the Environmental Performance Index 2012 and the first among the countries in the Americas. In the classification of tourism competitiveness index, 2011 Costa Rica was ranked in 44th place in the world and second highest in Latin America, surpassed only by Mexico. Costa Rica is ranked in 2011 as the country with greater press freedom in Latin America and number 19 worldwide. According to the ranking by Reporters without Borders
Currently human development index is the seventh best in Latin America and the second in Central America.

In 2010, the UNDP noted that Costa Rica is among the few countries that have reached a much higher human development than other countries in their level of income.
In 2007, the Government of Costa Rica announced plans to become the first country in the world carbon neutral or C-neutral by 2021 when as a nation will meet its bicentennial. That is, is a country to offset their carbon emissions by releasing equivalent amounts of oxygen. National Climate Change Strategy. Costa Rica According to the New Economics Foundation, 2012, Costa Rica is ranked 12 in the Happy Planet Index (HPI) and is the "greenest" country in the world.

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Pre-Columbian period.
Pottery Guanacaste, Middle Polychrome period (800-1200 AD).
On the left, vessel jaguar Nicoyan deified. On the right, two-tone mug with monkey motif (1200-1500 AD), found in the Tempisque Valley.

Pre-Columbian gold pieces, found in the Valle del General. Gold Museum, San Jose, Costa Rica.

Stone Ball (Chiriquí period from 800 to 1500 AD). National Museum of Costa Rica
The oldest evidence of human occupation in Costa Rica is associated with the arrival of groups of hunter-gatherers around 10 000 - 7 000 years BC, with ancient archaeological evidence (making stone tools) located in the Valley Turrialba, in the presence of Clovis-type spear points (U.S.) and fishtail (South American), which opens the possibility that in this area converge two different traditions of specialized hunters.

The incipient agriculture appears to 5 000 BC, mostly given by tubers and roots. For the first and second millennia BC there were already settled farming communities, small and scattered, although the transition from hunting and gathering to agriculture as the main means of livelihood in the area is still unknown.

By 2000-3000 BC, shows the use oldest known pottery, fragments of pots, cylindrical vases, plates, gourds and other forms of vases, decorated with incised or techniques such as grooves, patterns and modeled.

Between 300 BC and 500 AD, depending on the region, given the change of a tribal organization to a chiefdom society.

There is the construction of foundations with boulders, mounds, ovens, storage pits, and statuary. The corn is to establish itself as the main crop in some regions, while in others there is a mixed system, besides the use of coastal resources (fisheries) and hunting.
In this period appears the production and use of artifacts of jade and other green stones, ceremonial metates, stone finials rods and special ceramics, begins to use metal objects (copper and gold) especially in the Central Valley, Central and North Caribbean.
The panel called metates tripods are a sign hanging outstanding and unique Costa Rican pre-Columbian art, decorated with animal and human elements. Its manufacture began in the late part of this period (0-500 AD).

Between 300 and 800 AD first appear complex chiefdoms, with presence of large villages and infrastructure (bases, roads and burial mounds). There is the hierarchy of settlements, with major towns and secondary towns, with lineages of hereditary power and specialization of labor, with the appearance of a chief in the village primary and secondary villages subordinate chiefs.

From 800 AD until the Spanish arrived in the sixteenth century, there was an increase in the size and complexity of the internal design of the villages, and regional differences were accentuated. The presence of numerous cemeteries, simple and complex, massive infrastructure, diversity of household goods and luxuries, gold development, trade and regional conflicts over territory and resources chiefdoms are characteristic of this era. The social hierarchy includes key individuals as the chief and shaman (for example, or Awapa sukya among the Bribri, a physician of both body and spirit), and the common people made up of artisans and farmers. It starts the use of gold as a symbol of rank, especially in central and Great Chiriquí (Panama border), but also used in Guanacaste.
 In the Valley of Diquis starts making stone spheres typical of the region in the delta of the rivers Térraba and Sierpe, which postulates that were used as a symbol of rank and territorial markers. Other works include stone figures in the round of human and animal forms, as jaguar metates and anthropomorphic statues.

This period was rich in Aboriginal groups located throughout the territory, but not densely populated as were the Aztecs, Mayas or Incas. These groups were significantly reduced after the arrival of the Spanish Costa Rican territory as some refused to be submitted and were killed or sent to other countries.

Some historians have included the area currently consisting of the south and Atlantic South American country of influence due to the presence of groups speaking Chibcha languages. The province of Guanacaste became the southern border of Mesoamerica with the arrival of the Chorotegas for the period between 900 to 1000 AD.
Usually human settlements in this territory did not have the magnificence of the buildings and infrastructure stocks Aztecs, Mayas or Incas, however, served as a cultural bridge between South and North of the continent, and polychrome jewelry and crafts in clay, had a well-developed and beautiful result.




Costa Rica is governed by the constitution of November 7, 1949, which established a presidential system and a unitary state.

President and Head of Government is the representative of Costa Rica at the Home and Foreign, is responsible for ensuring compliance with laws, is elected by direct popular vote, secret and universal for a period of 4 years from their faculties is the Appointment Presidents of the autonomous institutions, Appointment and Dismissal of Ministers and Diplomats Rican, veto laws, decrees sign, Pardon of Punishment, national holiday or Mourning and Bereavement. The current presidency is occupied by Laura Chinchilla Miranda (from the May 8, 2010)
First Vice President: Alfio Piva Mesen (from the May 8, 2010)
Second Vice President: Luis Liberman Ginsburg (from the May 8, 2010).

is composed of ministers and diplomats elected president, once a week, ministers and diplomats meet with the Presidency and the Media in an act called the Governing Council, whose goal is to keep citizens informed about problems and events of national importance and the actions the government done to solve them.

Costa Rica's Legislative Assembly is a unicameral body with 57 Councils responsible for approving, amending or repealing laws and decrees. Legislators are elected by direct popular vote, secret and universal for a period of 4 years and have provincial character. Features include The Appointment of Judges of the Supreme Court and the Supreme Electoral Tribunal, appoint legislative committees charged with studying the draft law, every November to approve the budget of the Republic, Diplomatic Immunity Lift members of the supreme powers, Reforming the Constitution, approve or reject international treaties and conventions and to call public officials or citizens to be accountable in cases that warrant. The legislative chairman will assume the presidency of the Republic in the absence of the President and his deputies. Its current president is Juan Carlos Mendoza Garcia, Citizen Action Party Legislator of the Province of San Jose. Comptroller General of the Republic: It is the constitutional body, auxiliary Legislature that audits the use of public funds to improve the management of public finances and contribute to political control and citizen. The current Comptroller is Generl Lic. Rocío Aguilar Montoya and the current is Subcontralora Lic. Marta Acosta Zúñiga.

It is an auditing body that is part of the legislature. The purpose of this institution is to ensure that public sector activity meets the legal and moral, so that the rights and interests of the people of Costa Rica is always protected. The current Defender of the People's Ophelia Taitelbaum Yoselevick Deputy Ombudsman and is Luis Fallas Acosta.

Supreme Court, is the body that administers justice, composed of 22 judges for the Chambers I, II, III and constitutional, are elected by the Legislature for a period of 8 years. Its current president is the Supreme Judge Luis Paulino Mora Mora.

All those administrators of Justice for courts and tribunals established by law, are elected by the Supreme Court for a period of 8 years.

-Electoral power:
The buildings of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal of Costa Rica and the Civil Registry in Barrio Aranjuez, San Jose. Front: The Pillars of Democracy Monument to Suffrage.
Supreme Electoral Tribunal Electoral body is composed of 5 judges elected by the Legislature for a period of 6 years, are responsible for ensuring the preparation and transparency of National and Municipal Elections in addition to the Plesbicitos and Referendums or referenda, plenipotente also have the power to call early elections, suspend and diplomatic immunity to members of the Supreme Powers, cancel the credentials of Representatives, Mayors, Judges and Ministers and Disable persons holding public office. Its current president is Luis Antonio Sobrado Altiquísimo Judge Gonzalez.

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Supreme Electoral Tribunal.


Costa Rica is a founding member of the Organization of the United Nations maintains diplomatic relations with most countries of America and Europe, but with Cuba, so consular, it does so from the administration of Abel Pacheco de la Espriella (2002-2006).

However, the March 18, 2009, by executive decree, the government of Oscar Arias Sanchez restores diplomatic relations with the island.

The conservative government of Abel Pacheco was characterized as submissive to U.S. foreign policy and supported the Iraq War, and was questioned its affinity to Taiwan.
From Oscar Arias administration some changes were made as was the withdrawal of support for the Iraq War, the rupture of diplomatic relations with Taiwan and establishing the People's Republic of China, and the transfer of the Costa Rican embassy in Israel from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv (gesture immediately imitated by El Salvador, the only two countries with embassies in Jerusalem). Costa Rica had no diplomatic relations with any Arab country except Lebanon due to the presence of its embassy in Jerusalem, but now maintains relations with the Palestinian Authority, Egypt, Baréin, Kuwait, Jordan, Oman and Yemen.

On January 26, 2010 Arias announced the opening of diplomatic relations with the emirate of Qatar and the opening of embassies in the capitals of both countries, following the visit of Emir Hamad Al Thani to Costa Rica that day.
Some of the controversial diplomatic decisions of the Arias administration include the recognition of Kosovo as a sovereign nation and the request of President Arias of the Dalai Lama not to visit Costa Rica in 2008 to avoid friction with China.
During the Arias administration began diplomatic relations with Montenegro, Uganda, Congo, Botswana, Swaziland, Burundi, Guinea and San Marino.

There were diplomatic friction between the government of Costa Rica and the governments of Cuba and Venezuela during the Arias administration (which is why Venezuela considered the possibility of closing the aluminum plant owned Venezuelan ALUNASA which employed hundreds of Costa Ricans, but ultimately not did).
Perhaps the most complicated situation of Costa Rican diplomatic relations is the long-running dispute with Nicaragua that supports the right of navigation of the Rio San Juan.
Costa Rica is not a member of the Central American Parliament. Arias said the government had no plans to enter the Central American Parliament.
At present the Republic of Costa Rica maintains consular and diplomatic offices in the following countries: 89.

-America: Canada, United States, Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Cuba, Bahamas, Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Trinidad and Tobago, Colombia, Venezuela, Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, Paraguay, Bolivia, Chile , Peru and Ecuador.

-Europe: Spain, UK, France, Italy, Belgium, Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany, Russia, Austria, Luxembourg, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Estonia and Slovakia.

-Middle East: Israel, Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon, Tasting.

-Asia: China, South Korea, Japan, Philippines and India.

-Africa: South Africa.


Costa Rica is located in the Central American isthmus, between latitudes 8 ° and 12 ° N, and longitudes 82 ° and 86 ° W. Bordered on the east by the Caribbean Sea and Pacific Ocean to the west, with a total area of ​​1290 km of coastline: 212 km on the Caribbean coast and 1 016 km on the Pacific coast. Costa Rica also limits the north with Nicaragua (309 km border) by the Canas-Jerez Treaty of 1858 and the Cleveland Award in 1888 and Panama to the southeast (639 km border) by the treaty Echandi-Fernandez, 1941. As for the maritime boundary, bordering Costa Rica Ecuador in the Pacific Ocean by the treaty Gutierrez-Teran, 1985, with Colombia in the Caribbean Sea by the treaty Facio-Fernández, 1977 and the treaty Gutierrez-Lloreda 1984 and with Panamaby the treaty Calderon Ozores 1980. 

In total, Costa Rica comprises 51 100 km2 589 km2 over territorial waters. Costa Rica is a mountainous country and most of the territory consists of elevations between 900 and 1800 meters above sea level. There are three major mountain ranges: Guanacaste Volcanic Cordillera, Sierra Mining Tilarán, the Central Volcanic Cordillera and the Cordillera de Talamanca, there are also four secondary mountain ranges: Mountainous areas of Nicoya located in the province of Guanacaste, or Fila Fila Costera Brunqueña named for its proximity to the Pacific Ocean, it runs through the province of Puntarenas in parallel, and finally in the South Pacíico have the Sierra de Osa, a series of mountains that extend to Panama, has altitudes between 600 and 1 500 m .In the center of the country is the Great Central Valley, a plateau characterized by their fertility and abundance of water sources, surrounded by mountains and volcanoes, has a pleasant climate, living here most of the country's population, approximately 60% of the population. The Caribbean coastal plain has low altitude and is partially covered by rain forest. The highest point in the country is Cerro Chirripo at 3 820 meters and is the fifth highest peak in Central America. 

The highest volcano is Irazu Volcano to 3 432 m. Costa Rica comprises many islands. Cocos Island (24 km2) is characterized by its distance from the continental shelf, 300 km from Puntarenas, but Calero Island is the largest island in the country with 151.6 km2. About 25% of national territory is protected by SINAC (National System of Conservation Areas), which oversees all the country's protected areas. Costa Rica has the highest density of species in the world.

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Poás Volcano.

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Barva Volvcano.


Costa Rica has an extensive river system, which is distributed in three dimensions, defined naturally by the mountain system of the country, and are classified according to its mouth on northern slopes, Caribbean and Pacific. The rivers that form the northern slopes drain into the Lake of Nicaragua or the San Juan river, are generally short and have a torrential regime. Some are born on the slopes of volcanoes. The most important rivers in this watershed are: Sapoa (32 km), cold (70 miles), Estates and San Carlos (125 km). In this river is joined by Tenorio, Coto and Death, to form the river system that bathes the plains of San Carlos and Guatusos. The other side of this river system is formed by the rivers Toro, Fourth and Dirty, which unite to form the Sarapiqui River (103 km), which is navigable for more than half of its course. The rivers of the Caribbean slope have a constant stream throughout the year, associated with abundant rainfall in the Atlantic region. 

The most important is the Sixaola River (76 km), which forms a natural border with Panama, was born in the foothills of the Cordillera de Talamanca and is navigable. They also emphasize the Colorado River (navigable), Tortuguero (85 km), Pacuare (133 km), Reventazón (110 km), Parismina (92 km, called the last three because it is practiced, for part of the year, the sport of rafting ), Jimenez, Matina, Moin, Lemon, Banana, Bananito and The Star.The rivers of the Pacific slope are usually quiet, with a flow less torrential, born on the slopes of volcanoes.

The most important river is the river Tempisque, whose length is 144 km, is navigable, and is a major river system composed of rivers such as Liberia, Bag, Jump, Potrero, Piedras Blancas, Tenorio, Corobicí, Cañas and Lajas, which Irrigation gives the important agricultural region of Guanacaste.In the Nicoya Peninsula include rivers Morote, Nosara, Lajas and Bongo. Rivers Guacimal, Abangares, Aranjuez and Barranca born Tilarán saw during the dry season and its volume shrinkage. In the Central Pacific region lie the rivers Mary and Jesus Tárcoles, whose waters come from the West Central Valley, its tributaries are the Rio Grande and Virilla that have their sockets in the provinces of San José, Heredia and Alajuela.River Basin Tárcoles (111 km) is very important for the country, as it provides all the wealth of its natural resources. It has an area of ​​2,121 km2, a rainfall of 2 456 mm and a flow rate of 48 liters per second and square kilometer. Parrita Rivers (82 km), Naranjo and Savegre deposit their water in the south Pacific. 

The Rio Grande de Térraba (or Diquis, its Aboriginal name), formed by the rivers General and Coto Brus, is the longest (186 km) river in the country. It is only navigable in its lower (22 km), when browsing a large area planted with oil palm. It flows through a wide delta covered in mangrove forests in the Golfo Dulce.

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Tempisque River

Pacuare river


Costa Rica has a larger surface maritime continent as the oceanic area is 589,000 km ² approximately 92 that includes Isla del Coco which is located about 480 km southwest of the Osa Peninsula in the Pacific Ocean . This island was declared a Natural Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1997.

The country has over 1000 species of orchids, with Monteverde (in the center of the country) the region with the highest density of orchids in the world. In total, Costa Rica is home to more than 10,000 species of plants.

Wildlife abound as the puma, jaguar, deer, monkey, coyote, armadillo, and several species of birds among which the quetzal, the thrush and the hummingbird.
46.8% of the country's total land area is covered with forests, approximately 25% of the territory is protected, however, the country has one of the highest rates of deforestation in the region.
With only 0.03% of the global land surface, Costa Rica has approximately 6% of the biodiversity of our planet. It is the country with greatest biodiversity per square kilometer of territorio.94 Costa Rica is home to: 232 species of mammals, 838 species of birds, 183 species of amphibians, 258 species of reptiles and 130 species of freshwater fish.

Costa Rica in 1970 created a network of national parks, which is administered by SINAC since 1994, this is a department of the Ministry of Environment and Energy in charge of maintenance, organization and strategic planning of all protected areas of the territory.

SINAC has charge 27 national parks (IUCN-II) and various biological and forest reserves that come in different management categories. The Cordillera de Talamanca has a large number of these protected areas, including La Amistad International Park, which extends on this and even within Panamanian territory in the Osa Peninsula is Corcovado National Park, which is a rainforest remnant lowland unique in the world, for the many species that live there. In the Pacific Northwest Region, National Marine Park Leatherback Conservation Area is the most important for spawning American Pacific leatherback, 95 endangered.

In Costa Rica, also, there are approximately 350 wetlands, covering approximately 7% of the country, of which 11 have been identified as 'Ramsar Sites' of global significance.
Costa Rica has three World Heritage Sites by UNESCO to be the 3, natural assets. Namely these are:

-the Reserves of the Talamanca Range-La Amistad Reserves / La Amistad International Park (declared in the year 1983).

-the Cocos Island National Park (declared in the year 1997) and Guanacaste Conservation Area (declared in the year 1999).
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purple orchid

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red-eyed tree frog