Our Field - Costa Rica

Official Name: Republic of Costa Rica

Costa Rica, which means “the rich coast,” has many mountain ranges and numerous volcanoes.

Capital: San José

Area: 51,100 square kilometers or 19,729 square miles, about the size of the states of Vermont and New Hampshire combined.

Location: Central America, between Nicaragua and Panama, bordering both the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean.

Administrative Divisions: 7 provinces (Alajuela, Cartago, Guanacaste, Heredia, Limón, Puntarenas, San José) divided into 81 subdivisions (cantones), which are also divided into 421 districts.

Population: 4.48 million (July 2009)

Official Language: Spanish. Creole is also spoken by the Caribbean Blacks. In addition to Spanish and Creole, there are numerous Indian dialects.

Local Currency: Colón (named after Christopher Columbus)

Official Religion: Roman Catholic, but there is freedom of expression of other beliefs.

System of Government: Democratic Republic

Executive Branch: President and two Vice Presidents elected on the same ticket by popular vote for four-years terms. The cabinet is selected by the President. The last election was held on February 7, 2010.

Independence: September 15th, 1821 (from Spain)

Climate: Tropical and subtropical; dry season (December to April); rainy season (May to November); cooler in highlands.

Life expectancy: 79.3 years

Literacy rate: 96%

The majority of this information was taken from the Embassy of Costa Rica’s official web site. For much more information about Costa Rica, please visit their web site. http://www.costarica-embassy.org/index.php?q=node/19
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