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Early Colonial History in Brief

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5 - Costa Rica in Brief
6 - Map of Costa Rica
8 - Symbols of Costa Rica
9 - Introduction
12 - Getting a Bird's Eye View
14 - Why Choose Costa Rica?
18 - Costa Rica Has Many Firsts to its Name
22 - A Place That Accepts All Races
30 - The Friendliness of the Costa Ricans
33 - Ticos are Individualistic
35 - Ticos Are Different and Procrastinators
38 - Why Others Have Gone Abroad
42 - Specific Reasons for Leaving Home
45 - Culture Shock
48 - Enjoy Your Retirement by Adjusting
49 - Ways to Adjust to Your New Life
56 - Making Your Stay More Satifying
58 - Cost of Living
67 - Addresses and Directions
69 - Your Car and Driving
71 - How Not to Be Obnoxious to Locals
74 - Adjusting to the Weather and Climate
76 - Choosing the Right Climate for You
77 - City Living versus Country Living
79 - Where to Live in Costa Rica
82 - Living in Your American Style
84 - Top Quality Health Services
87 - Medical Centers in San José
89 - Dying in Costa Rica
91 - Security and Safety in Costa Rica
94 - Personal Experiences of Petty Thievery
98 - Sex and Romance
101 - Going into Business Yourself
105 - Expatriates Production Enterprises
110 - Expatriates Service Businesses
114 - The Business Environment
120 - Helpful Tips for the Newcomer
125 - National Holidays and Festivities
128 - Religion, Churches & Support Groups
131 - The Optimism and Health Link
133 - The 8 Point Formula for Anti-Aging
134 - Obtaining Insurance
136 - Early Colonial History in Brief
139 - English Language & Tico Expressions
144 - Misdemeanors That Are Now Felonies
146 - Closing Words
148 - Bibliography
149 - For More Information and Contacts
151 - Appendix
155 - Index

Costa Rica, the Forgotten Colony of Spain Made Ticos Work Harder to Survive

Christopher Columbus discovered Costa Rica, when on his fourth voyage on the 25th of September 1502 he arrived at the small island of Quiribrí, so named by the aborigines just off Cariary, what is today Puerto Limón on the Caribbean. He later changed it to Uvita which in 2002 regained its original Indian name. According to some historians, Columbus didn't go on shore because of his gout and rheumatism, but his son Hernando and brother Bartolome, who accompanied him, did. Other historians say Columbus did go on land and remained there 22 days while his damaged vessels were repaired. It must be remembered that September is when the hurricane season in the Caribbean is at its best.

Colonization ofthe country, however, did not proceed from there but rather from the Pacific Juan de Castañeda and Hernán Ponce de Leon and Juan Dávila in 1519 all travelled up the south and central Pacific coast of Costa Rica as so did Andrés Niño and Gil Gonzalez Dávila in 1522.

It was Fernando de Córdoba in 1524 who founded on the east coast of the Gulf of Nicoya what he named Villa Bruselas which is considered the first Spanish settlement in Costa Rica. In 1544 Diego de Gutierrez did some exploring some 30 kilometres inland. However, the first Spanish Conquistadors to really settle in Costa Rica in a more permanent form were those under Juan de Cavallon who seated themselves in what is now the town of Esparza.

But soon British pirates began to raid Esparza, so Cavallón and his men moved further inland to the Central Valley where in March 1561 they established the settlement of Garcimuñoz at the site of what is now Ciudad Colón. Cavallon's harshness with the Indians made the Spanish Crown in 1563 replace him with Juan Vasquez de Coronado who moved Garcimuñoz to Quircot in the Guarco Valley and later to the new place they named Cartago.

Not all colonists moved from Esparza to the Central Valley with Cavallon. Others decided to go north and west on their own and set up large cattle haciendas in the Diría and Bagaces valleys with herds brought on the hoof from Honduras. Thus, while the farms in the Central Valley were small units that were worked intensively, the cattle ranches of the Pacific which covered hundreds, perhaps thousands of acres each, required the task of only a few cowboys. To this day practically the same distribution of the land exists in that area.

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