The most important exports in 2015 (in order of dollar value) were medical instruments, bananas, tropical fruits, integrated circuits and orthopedic appliances. Stay Informed – Register with the free Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to ensure you receive travel alert or travel warning messages. By Daniel Maina Wambugu on July 17 2019 in World Facts.  The country's Free Trade Zones provide incentives for manufacturing and service industries to operate in Costa Rica. , Basketball is also a popular sport in Costa Rica even though the country's national team has not yet qualified for a major international tournament such as the FIBA AmeriCup or the FIBA World Cup.. Contrary to common belief that Costa Rica is located in South America, the country is actually found in the Central American Isthmus, which forms a connection between North America and South America. Located on the eastern shore of Lake Arenal in northwestern Costa Rica, Volcán Arenal was thought to …  Prior to 1940, government hospitals and charities provided most health care. The Spanish language is the official and the most spoken language in Costa Rica, although English is also heard. , Costa Rican cuisine is a blend of Native American, Spanish, African and many other cuisine origins. The majority of the Afro-Costa Ricans are Creole English-speaking descendants of 19th century black Jamaican immigrant workers.. . This freeze lasted 47 years until President Óscar Arias Sánchez re-established normal relations on 18 March 2009, saying, "If we have been able to turn the page with regimes as profoundly different to our reality as occurred with the USSR or, more recently, with the Republic of China, how would we not do it with a country that is geographically and culturally much nearer to Costa Rica?" Costa Rica is incredibly safe, as long as you use good sense. https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/01/sun-sea-and-stable-democracy-what-s-the-secret-to-costa-rica-s-success/#:~:text=As%20a%20result%2C%20Costa%20Rica,Happy%20Planet%20Index%20(HPI).&text=A%20recent%20Gallup%20poll%20found,longer%20than%20in%20the%20US. The country also experienced well-being higher than many richer nations and a per capita ecological footprint one-third the size of the United States. It was not long before Spanish settlers turned to the hills, where they found rich volcanic soil and a milder climate than that of the lowlands.. The country covers 51,100 square kilometers.  Housing is also very affordable. A main foreign policy objective of Costa Rica is to foster human rights and sustainable development as a way to secure stability and growth.. Other fiscal reforms were also recommended to moderate the budget deficit. Costa Rica , officially the Republic of Costa Rica (Spanish: República de Costa Rica), is a country in Central America, bordered by Nicaragua to the north, the Caribbean Sea to the northeast, Panama to the southeast, the Pacific Ocean to the southwest, and Ecuador to the south of Cocos Island. , In 1996, the Forest Law was enacted to provide direct financial incentives to landowners for the provision of environmental services.  According to DW, "Costa Rica is known for its stable democracy, progressive social policies, such as free, compulsory public education, high social well-being, and emphasis on environmental protection. In fact, while Central America is considered a politically separate region, it is actually the southernmost part of the continent of North America. It would also benefit from more graduates in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) programs, according to the report. Students who finish 11th grade receive a Costa Rican Bachillerato Diploma accredited by the Costa Rican Ministry of Education. There is also a small Muslim community of about 500 families, or 0.001% of the population. Since the late 19th century, however, Costa Rica has experienced two significant periods of violence. In practice, the captaincy general was a largely autonomous entity within the Spanish Empire. The victorious rebels formed a government junta that abolished the military altogether, and oversaw the drafting of a new constitution by a democratically elected assembly.  In 2006, Costa Rica received 150,000 foreigners that came for medical treatment. The country’s population of 4.9 million, is about the size of West Virginia.  By 2015, 93 percent of the country's electricity came from renewable sources. The official language in Costa Rica is Spanish, and it's not wildly different to other Central American countries, but it does have a few unique words and phrases. 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