Those who know about Costa Rica, know that this country is very particular and its history cannot go unnoticed, and due to these facts, we are a mix of cultures and ethnicities, having records from 10.000 years ago, when hunters and gatherers came to establish little sedentary groups, and started growing in these lands, but our story goes beyond, Costa Rica called the attention of countries worldwide, becoming a natural scientist center and its richness could not be ignored, it had such impression that Christopher Columbus itself mentioned he witnessed the richest lands that any other European have ever seen before, due to the ornaments and the nature he saw in Cariay, nowadays called Puerto Limon in the Caribbean coast.
Native groups will tell you a lot when you go around to our local museums, pieces of our history that talk for themselves, the way as native groups were able to manipulate metals and precious stones will leave you breathless, without going deep with pre-Columbian spheres, stones handmade perfectly rounded that were found around the country, curiously, we have not found more clues about how they could do it, there is no simple explanations about this handmade works, their shapes are simply perfect, and unlimited pieces of history were found in every corner of this country.
Nowadays, Costa Rican speak Spanish, but unfortunately only less than 1% of our population speak a native language, the colonizers were responsible of thousands of deaths in Latin America as they wanted to establish their own religion and their language around the country, acts that killed more than 50% of natives due to their believes and their traditions that were completely removed, facts that makes us having a marked past by Spanish who mixed with autonomous Costa Rican groups, and makes our country very diverse. The period of conquest took place for more than 70 years, (from 1502 – 1573) when the colonizers appropriated a large part of the Costa Rican territory and governed our country, (at that time, Central American province) until 1821 when Costa Rica declares itself as an independent country, separating completely from the Spanish domain and started its own history, 27 years later the first constitution was published marked by historical events that made our country grow and put us on the map of the big and empowered nations in those times, and of course hand in hand with the coffee crop, that made raise our economy in a very important way.
An important event that marked our history in a big way was the campaign of 1856; Costa Rica took up arms against Nicaragua and William Walker's plans to appropriate our lands to take complete control of our country and the natural channel that forms the San Juan River. In those times, Costa Rica had a very small army, so President Juan Manuel Mora agreed with the Costa Rican ambassador to England the purchase 1500 war rifles, thanks to the resources generated by coffee exports to Europe. On March 20 1856, Costa Rica had its first confrontation in the “Hacienda Santa Rosa”, Guanacaste, and for that time, around 2000 men joined the ranks of the Costa Rican army to fight against the filibusters, and then faced again on April 11th in Rivas, Nicaragua, that would be the last and definitive confrontation, which produced the imminent defeat to Nicaragua, making William Walker flee to Honduran lands, being assassinated later in 1860.
Pointing 94 years later, in 1948, after a Civil war caused by a fraud after popular elections in February 1948. Due to a fire that was generated in the college of young ladies, destroying large amount of election material, and proclaiming a candidate of the opposition, Otilio Ulate, based only on results sent by telegram, results that generated the anger of much of the population; generating the imminent conflict and that caused the abolition of the army in December 1st 1948, event that took around 2000 lives, generating a year after the creation of the second Republic and the creation of the current political constitution of Costa Rica, being a pioneer in the world in taking giant steps towards peace and democracy.
After this war event, Costa Rica is known worldwide for being a peaceful country and has also helped other countries as a mediator to accomplish peace. The country also took a turn to become a leader in nature’s conservation, one of the main reasons a lot of people know of it around the world and this is also one of the reasons for Costa Rica to have a very well stablished touristic platform; an economic activity that is helping the countries’ economy nowadays to be very stable.