Human habitation can be traced back more than 100,000 years but it appears that Costa Rica was sparsely populated and a relative backwater in the pre Columbian era. Costa Rica was part of the Intermediate Area between the Mesoamerican and Andean cultural regions. In 1502 when Christopher Columbus landed in the Puerto Limon, less than 20 indigenous tribes occupied the lands which are now called Costa Rica. They lived in several autonomous tribes with all their distinct cultures and customs. The golden bands that the region’s Carib Indians wore as nose rings and earrings inspired the crew to name the country Costa Rica which means Rich Coast. Columbus’ arrival ultimately led to the eradication of the native populations as fatal battles and exotic diseases took their toll. The native peoples were conquered by the Spanish in the 16th century. The Costa Rica was then the southern-most province in the Spanish territory of the New Spain. For nearly three centuries, Spain administered the region as part of the Captaincy General of Guatemala under the military governor. The Spanish called Costa Rica as the rich coast in the hopes of finding gold and other riches in the country. However, the country has offered them with volcanic soils very good for the agriculture.


In 1821 of the Costa Rica History, Costa Rica and other provinces in the Central America declared their independence from Spain. In 1824, they initiated the construction of ports and roads and established a judicial system. His progressive administration expanded their public education. Moreover, the nation’s chief of state encouraged coffee cultivation by providing free land grants to many farmers. The cultivation of coffee would transform the country in the 19th century. At this time, only small numbers of families owned sizable properties. As Costa Rica began to develop, few families rich in land soon became some of the wealthiest in the country of Costa Rica. After more than a decade of the political turmoil, General Tom s Guardia seized power in the year 1870. Though he ruled as a military dictator, his twelve years in power were marked by the progressive policies such as free and compulsory primary education, taxing coffee earnings to finance public works, and restraining the excesses of the military. An era of peaceful democracy began in the country in 1899 with the elections considered the first free and honest ones in the history of Costa Rica. Costa Rica has avoided much of the violence that has plagued much of the Central America.


Today, Costa Rica still has a large agricultural sector which includes banana, coffee, sugar, and pineapple exports. In the last 20 years, the technology and eco-tourism of the country have made people from all over the world. Costa Ricans enjoys a high standard of living. Why is Costa Rica Unique? This is because the country boasts a high literacy rate, and a stable government that has functioned without the armies for more than 60 years. Also, the land ownership is widespread in the country.