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Costa Rica Has Many Firsts To Its Name

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Home / Preface
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

The Number 1 Democracy in Latin America

Among other firsts in Latin America, Costa Rica was the first to establish free and compulsory grammar and high school state education (in 1869) and the first and only one to abolish the army (in 1949). Costa Ricans considered it was wiser to spend money on more schools and education than on guns and soldiers, something which its Central American sister countries have always rejected. Today Costa Rica has 60 private and 4 state universities many which have branches in some of the larger cities.

It might be well to mention here that regarding the absence of arms and an army on one occasion in the 1960s for the arrival of a president from a South American country, the Costa Rican Government asked Panama to lend it one of its cannons for a couple of days so it could give the visiting dignitary a twenty-one cannon salute. The loan was made, the cannon was fired and returned, and everyone remained happy. Today foreign dignitaries are not greeted by firing a cannon salute, but. by rows of children waving flags.

This policy of emphasis on education has been paying off since as a result the country has acquired a reputation of having a well-educated labour force which in turn has been attracting new important technological investments by foreign firms particularly in the computer software, health and service fields. To establish themselves firms generally look for a politically stable place where much of its population has English as a second language and can handle it fairly well besides possessing computer skills.

For more than a hundred years Costa Rica has been known internationally for welcoming political refugees and others who have been persecuted in other countries. Exile is granted only after the government has made a careful study of each case and the results indicate that the request justifies acceptance.

Early in the year 2000, Costa Rica, through its Sala Constitucional (Constitutional Court), was the first country to vote against allowing fertilization in vitro (artificial insemination of humans) and introduce it into its Constitution, thus proclaiming the nation's strong pro-life policy.

Another first was obtained when in September 2002, President Abel Pacheco de la Espriella signed environmental guarantees to be included in the country's constitution which, if approved by the Legislative Assembly, would make Costa Rica the first to give constitutional stature to its already existing social guarantees. Through this law, the defence of nature is given top priority and the government is obligated to defend all of its natural resources and the environment and to use them in an adequate form, always with the public interest in mind. Through this action, Costa Rica once again offers the world a good blueprint to follow.

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All texts of How to Retire Happily in Peacefull Costa Rica are copyrighted © by Frank J. Thomas Gallardo and Editorial Texto Costa Rica. We recommend to buy a hard copy of How to Retire Happily in Peacefull Costa Rica.