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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

The Cañas-Jerez Treaty of 1858 and the Cleveland Arbitration Act of 1888 assigned ownership of the river to Nicaragua but granted Costa Rica the right to navigate freely in it. Problems arise when the Nicaraguan government prohibits the Costa Rican boundary police from patrolling the river to control the big inflow of immigrants who daily enter clandestinely into Costa Rica.

In the past, some Nicaraguan politicians have liked to stir public opinion in their country on the most meaningless things against the Ticos. Such was the case in early 2002 when their president said that Costa Rica was stealing one of their saints from them. Nicaraguan-born Sor María Romero, a Catholic nun who had spent more than 40 years in Costa Rica doing her exemplary charitable work, was beatified by the Pope in April 2002. The Costa Rican Catholic Church rebuked the Nicaraguan president by stating that the saints belong to the world and not to any one country alone.


Although travel and guidebooks don't say much about the Indians of Costa Rica, it's well known these have existed in the territory long before Columbus arrived. The July 2000 census reported the total aborigine population to be 63,800. Today 22 Indian tribes are dispersed in the same number of clusters starting with the northernmost Malekus at Guatuso and extending to the Guaymis at Conte Burica in the south near the border with Panama. Each has its own dialect and most speak Spanish.. They all have their citizenship identification which grants them the same rights enjoyed by the rest of the population. Subsistence farming is their principal way of earning a livelihood and some produce nice handicrafts.

Members of the Quitirrisí of the Huetar tribe located between the towns of Ciudad Colón and Puriscal are skilled in making baskets and Panama-style hats from a special palm leaf found locally. Several government educational and health programs have been established to try to lift the aborigine population from its perennial poverty, but more assistance is needed.

Much emphasis is being given to protect their territorial rights which are often threatened by unscrupulous outsiders. The Bribrí tribe, located in the Talamanca Mountains, has its own radio station with programs in its own dialect. The same applies to the Maleku. Although the Indians are accepted in national life, their integration has been difficult to achieve primarily due to their geographical isolation. An estimated 75% still live in their aboriginal communities.

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