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Costa Rica's history Overview

Costa Rica's history is one of triumph of peace over hostility, thus the tranquil laid back atmosphere in this country.  

Studies done in Costa Rica confirm that civilizations had settled in this region 10,000 years ago, well before the arrival of Spanish conquistadors. Many indigenous civilizations, now disappeared, made Costa Rica their homes, and left mysteries and marvels for the future generations. One of this wonders are hundreds of perfect rock spheres, ranging from baseball-sized ones to huge car like rocks, found throughout the west coast

Gold and Jade objects are other treasured items left behind by ancient civilizations, now they can be appreciated in museums around the central valley.

More recently, some indigenous ruins have been found around the central valley, discovering a very sophisticated system of waterworks and canals, as well as other magnificent and sometimes mind boggling constructions.

By the time the Columbus arrived, there were four major indigenous tribes living in Costa Rica. The east coast was the realm of the Caribs, while the Borucas, Chibchas, and Diquis resided in the southwest. This populations were not numerous to begin with, and when the Spaniards came nearly finished them all, some fled, while many others perished, none the less many settlers established colonies in Central America and Mexico, that finally won their independence from Spain on 1821.

Due to  this historical declaration Costa Rica declared, after several military governments, a democratic, publicly elected president and parliament or Asamblea. Early on coffee was the main product of Costa Rica, an the oligarquía cafetalera (group of coffee-head figures) became a the ruling class. Other products like bananas also help raise the Costa Rican economy. All this agricultural efforts lead to the updating of transportation and telecommunication systems, making roads, railways, electricity and education available to everyone. The world's investors took notice and made very profitable businesses, that are still around today.

Many great presidents we had, and some not so memorable, but they forged the Costa Rica that we have today. Without a doubt, and to this date, the one person who did most for this country was José Figueres Ferrer, ex-president and former leader of the disbanded armed-forces, lead the civil war on 1948 and changed the face of our nation forever, depicting it a the warm, calm and peaceful nation it still is. Others came and went until ex-president Oscar Arias put Costa Rica on the world's eyes again by winning the Nobel Peace price in 1987 for his efforts in the Central American Conflicts.

Today Costa Rica remains a peace loving country, with no army, instead we have one of the highest literacy rates in the world, and many international companies such as Intel have set up corporations here. Tourism plays a big part too, costaricans have learned to value an appreciate all the benefits that foreign investment can bring, thus they are very friendly and always ready to help.