Costa Rica

Flag of Costa Rica

Flag of Costa Rica

Margay of Costa Rica

Margay of Costa Rica

 

 

 

 

 

Country Republic of Costa Rica   (Link to tourist map of Costa Rica)
Continent Central America
Capital San Jose
Population About 4.8 million
Language Spanish (official) and English
Religion Roman Catholic 76.3%, Evangelical 13.7%, Jehovah’s Witnesses 1.3%, other Protestant 0.7%, other 4.8%, none 3.2%
Terrain Coastal plains separated by rugged mountains including over 100 volcanic cones, of which several are major active volcanoes
Sports Soccer is the major sport. The Costa Rican national soccer team played in FIFA World Cup four times and reached the quarter-finals in 2014.
Animals The Yigüirro, a clay-colored thrush (almost like a gray-green robin), was selected as Costa Rica’s national bird because it sings very beautifully.

Costa Rica has a great variety of animals, including monkeys (including squirrel, howler, and white-faced), sloths, pumas, margays (see photo), tapirs, anteaters, and many others.

Many dolphins and whales feed near the coast of Costa Rica.

Facts of Interest Costa Rica means “Rich Coast”, named by Spanish explorers

Costa Rica has a high standard of living and is peaceful, especially compared to its neighbors

Visitors like to hike in the large rain forests to see many animals

Many butterflies, including Monarchs, live and migrate to Costa Rica

A volcano erupted in the 1960s and damaged the capital. Several other volcanos are near San Jose.

Concerns People fleeing violence in Nicaragua, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, and other Southern and Central American countries, escape to Costa Rica. Costa Rica is struggling to handle this inflow of people and already has 20% unemployment.

This month (September 2016), Costa Rica will allow refugees from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala who have applied for US Visas to wait for approval in Costa Rica.  This applies only to new refugees entering Costa Rica.

Mission The Presbyterian Mission Agency works in Costa Rica with other groups on new church development, evangelism, health and education.
Sources CIA.gov, Go Visit Costa Rica (www.govisitcostarica.com), Top End Sports (www.topendsports.com), NPR news (www.npr.org), Presbyterian Mission Agency (www.presbyterianmission.org)