The country is orderly. There is no capital punishment. Extremes of wealth and poverty are less marked than in most of Latin America. On a per capita basis, there are more small property, farm or business owners than in other Latin American countries.
Other writers have expounded in the National Geographic Magazine and other publications the beauties of Costa Rica's very diversified geographic regions and the looks and nature of its people.
One writer, Ellen Searby, in her book The Costa Rica Traveller, said that "if there is a tropical Camelot, peaceful Costa Rica is it. Meeting the Costa Ricans is as much a privilege as travelling in the beauty of their country." From all this publicity, plus that which is normally produced by the Costa Rican Tourism Institute, it's not strange to see why so many visitors, particularly from the United States, Europe and other Central and South American countries have been arriving in ever increasing numbers to visit or retire.
American Sociologists Analyze the Costa Rican Character
Back in 1944 the Columbia University Press, New York, published the excellent book Costa Rican Life by two University of Minnesota sociology professors, John and Mavis Biesanz, who wrote it while on an extended leave to Costa Rica. They had come previously in 1941 on their honeymoon trip. I bought the book in Panama in 1946 while still in the US Army there, and when I met them personally in San José 30 years later, I told them how much I had enjoyed reading it. They in turn told me how they had investigated more than 100 other countries before choosing Costa Rica as their retirement home.
In 1981, Mavis wrote for The Tico Times a series often excellent articles entitled 'Why Are the Costa Ricans So Different' which in my opinion is the best analysis of the Costa Rican nature and character ever made by a foreigner. She observed: "Ticos are peaceable and
non violent. In public life, they debate and bargain and arrive at compromises; moderation is the keynote. In personal relations, they want above all, to get along, to leave a good impression on others. They prefer to think small and go slow, and to avoid enterprises that involve risk and anxiety. They're also outspoken, patient, and good humoured. They prize tranquillity. A good personal appearance is important. They bathe daily and spend much of their money on new and fine clothes."
The Biensanzs mentioned that Costa Rica has no Indian problem, that its population is homogenous and the spread of interest and activity between upper class and lower class is less wide than it is in many South or Central American countries. There is great interest
in polities, a politics of personalities rather than issues; the