Costa Rica History
museoferrocarril.jpg
Today, Costa Rica is a stable, democratic country that has maintained a peaceful, economically sound government since 1899. Its people enjoy relative affluence and prosperity. It has earned its nickname, the Switzerland of the Americas, because of its prosperity, forward thinking, enterprising nature, and neutrality toward other governments. Its path to arriving as the gem of Central America was slow in coming, however. Little is known about Costa Rican ancient history.

Europeans discovered it during one of Christopher Columbus's expeditions to the new world in 1502. It is said that Columbus gave Costa Rica its name, meaning rich coast. He called it such when encountering the indigenous people who wore thinly carved gold jewelry about their necks. However, some believe that Fernández de Córdoba chose the name approximately 30 years later when he established a settlement in 1539.

Those who believe that Fernández de Córdoba gave it its name feel that he named it Costa Rica because of its fertile lands, splendid forests, and exotic and rare wildlife. However received, Costa Rica deserves its name. It is a land of plenty.

Truly verdant and plenteous, it was, however, not easy to subdue. Having a strong sense of pride, aboriginal people had no desire to be imprisoned in slavery. Instead, they retreated into the jungle. Spanish settlers, including officials, had to farm the land themselves. Trade was nearly impossible, as they had nothing, really, to trade, making the economy tenuous, at best.

Nevertheless, Costa Ricans persisted. Survival, hard work, and pride in themselves, principles formulated from the time of Spanish rule to the present day, bridged a sense of equality and a need for a more egalitarian government. In 1882, Costa Rica, along with the rest of Central America, seceded from Spanish rule. It was primed for Democracy in 1899. Once it found democracy, Costa Rica held onto it tenaciously and has enjoyed democracy for over one hundred years.

   Order 
Item Title Hits
Costa Rica's unique history 1364
One of Costa Rica’s earliest settlements 1352
The Origins of Tortuguero 1478
Important historical dates 14791
Costa Rica History 32689
Bernarda Vásquez Méndez, The first woman to vote in Costa Rica 8741
Archaeology in the Catie Botanical Gardens 2839
The spheres of Diquís 3183
Building the Jungle Train 2357
Home arrow Art and Culture arrow Costa Rica History

Did you know?

A navigable network of lakes and canals parallel to the coast crosses the Tortuguero National Park with a great scenic beauty.

Tortuguero National Park Costa Rica

Costa Rica Pictures


Puntarenas City, Central Pacific
We have 5 guests online

Costa Rica

Tourism Center
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Important to Know
Travel to Costa Rica
Ecotourism and Nature
Activities and Sports
Geographical Division
Protected Areas
Costa Rican Volcanoes
Costa Rican Beaches
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Information Center
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
General Information
Art and Culture
People and Society
Government
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Business Center
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Business and Economy
Development- Services
Real Estate - Investment
Costa Rican Coffee

Search Directory




Advanced Search
 

We are in Costa Rica. For more information, comments or suggestions, please contact us here.
© 1996 - 2014 Costa Rica Tourism. ® All rights reserved.