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Heritage and Culture


Costa Rican culture is in many ways a reflection of its racial diversity. The predominant influence has long been European, which is reflected in everything from the official language -- Spanish -- to the architecture of the country´s churches and other historic buildings. The indigenous influence is less apparent, but can be found in everything from the tortillas that are served with a typical Costa Rican meal to the handmade ceramics sold at roadside stands.


An important aspect of Costa Rica´s cultural heritage is their love of peace and democracy. Ticos like to point out that their nation is the exception in Latin America, where military dictatorships long dominated politics.


They can boast of having more than one hundred years of democratic tradition, and almost half a century without an army. The army was abolished in 1948, and the money the country saves by not having a military is invested in improving the standard of living for Costa Ricans, which has fostered the social harmony that makes it such a pleasant country to visit.  

Heritage and Culture


The Tico


Ticos, as Costa Ricans are commonly known, are famous for being hospitable, and are quite happy to live up to their reputation. They are a polite, well educated and gregarious people, who are quick with a handshake and a smile. They are well aware that their country is a special place, and they go out of their way to accommodate visitors, pointing them in the right direction when they get lost, explaining things that might seem foreign to a foreigner, and helping make their stay as enjoyable as possible.


It has been said the Ticos are their nation´s greatest asset, and once you´ve experienced their friendliness and spontaneity, you´ll no doubt agree.