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A Place With No Racial Discrimination

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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

Costa Ricans Get Along with All Races

The final two lines of the National Anthem of the country tells it all when it says: "...beneath the limpid blue of thou sky may Work and Peace always live forever ". That Costa Rica is in reality a peaceful country is demonstrated by the fact that it has actively engaged in only two international shooting wars in all of its independent history, one in 1856 against the American filibuster William Walker, who wanted to take over Central America and name himself president of the region, and second, the short war with Panama in 1921 over where the boundary between the two countries should be. This latter war lasted only a few days.

There have been some national skirmishes due mainly to politics, but it was only in 1948 that a serious civil war broke out caused by a presidential election fraud. It lasted only a month. Three-time President Ricardo Jiménez was right when he said that "in Costa Rica no fight, scandal or quarrel lasts more than three days." And generally no intense animosity or bitterness remains afterwards. Disputes are generally ironed -out a la Tica (the Ticoway) where no one seems to lose face and everyone goes on his way without animosity or bloodshed.

Regarding the war with Panama, two of my maternal uncles who participated told me how they and a few hundred other Costa Rican young men went from San José on the train to Puerto Limón where they boarded a small ship which took them to the Panamanian coast. On landing, they were told to go back because the war had ended. Finally, during the administration of President Rafael Angel Calderón Guardia in 1941, the boundary line was set and there have been no squabbles between the two countries since then.

Not so with the northern neighbour. On occasions there have been problems with Nicaragua, especially during the long years of the Somoza administration. In January 1955, a group of young Costa Rican hotheads, with the support of General Somoza, tried to overthrow the legitimately elected president José Figueres Ferrer but failed. To help Costa Rica against Somoza, the United States Government sold it two P-51 fighter planes at the symbolic sum of $1 each. That immediately ended the invasion. In more recent years the quarrels with Nicaragua have been due to problems over the San Juan River that marks the boundary between the two countries.

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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.