Get to know Costa Rica

Random

Hi guys! On this post, I’m sharing with you a little bit about where I’m from, which by the way I’m really proud of my country. So, if you’re interested, then keep on reading.

First, I’ll like to answer some questions that I’ve been asked on the past:

  • No, we’re not an island
  • No, we’re not Puerto Rico, we are COSTA RICA (our flags are similar but different)
  • Yes, some of us do celebrate Christmas
  • No, unfortunately not all of us can surf
  • Yes, we do watch television
  • No, it does not snow in here (we have a tropical climate with only 2 stations)

Now without further do, let’s start!


Generalities

Costa Rica is located on Central America, between Nicaragua (on the north) and Panama (on the south), also we have the Mar Caribe on the east and the Pacific Ocean on the west.

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Our territory has a total of 51.100 km², which is divided on 7 provinces:

*Images taken from http://www.wikipedia.com

They are: San José (the Capital), Cartago, Heredia, Puntarenas, Alajuela, Guanacaste and Limon. I live in Cartago, I love it because it has cold weather; Guanacaste, Puntarenas and Limon are the places where our beaches are.

We also own an island that’s called Isla del Coco, and it has the most amazing biodiversity out there!

*Images taken from: https://www.vuelaviajes.com/

Our official language is Spanish, some people say that our accent is very similar to Colombian accent. I kind of agree, but not really. Our currency is the Colón, 575 colones are equal to 1 dollar.

If you ask me what I love more about my country, is that everywhere you look, it doesn’t matter where you are, you see something green. We are surrounded by mountains that offers a perfect and fresh view if you find yourself stock in the city. Also, we have amazing landscapes and beaches, which we are famous for, and a variety of flora and fauna.


Food and Music

We are known for our agriculture, some of our main crops are Coffee, Bananas, Palma Africana, Pineapple and Caña de Azúcar. But, besides those we are lucky enough to find any kind of fruits and vegetables in a reasonable price, and for that our farmers markets (ferias) are famous. I’m pretty sure that every town in Costa Rica has one. The beautiful thing about farmer’s markets is that besides fruits and vegetables, you can find prepared food, specially for breakfast, such as: tortilla de queso, empanadas, tamales pinto, etcetera. So, while you’re buying you can take a sit and enjoy a delicious breakfast.

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Not just we have our farmer’s markets but there is really common that you find a farmer selling his products on the side of the road. Specially if you’re going to any volcano or to the beach; the most common products are nuts, cheese and lots of fruits. Also, we have a thing called Sobado, which is a sweet treat made of nuts and Tapa de Dulce: traditionally the way that our ancestors made it was by having two Bueyes pulling a round wheel to helped mix the mixture.

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Our most traditional dish is called Gallo Pinto, which is a dish that’s used mainly for breakfast. It is a combination of beans and rice, addressed with some herbs, spices and our delicious Salsa Lizano. You can eat it with eggs, bread or toasts. I bet that if you visit here, you’ll find this dish on every restaurant.

 

Gallo pinto
Image taken from: https://www.eatthismuch.com/

 

As I said before, Coffee is one of our main farming; we actually have some coffee shops that had been rewarded as one of the greatest places in the world to drink coffee. I’m sure that most of us ticos have a coffee maker on our house, but the traditional way to do it is with a Chorreador, which is a special tool to make coffee. It’s not just more delicious but, in my opinion, it’s easier to make and the it leaves the kitchen smelling amazing!

 

coffee_dripper_01
Image taken from: https://www.crwoodcraft.com/es/

 

 

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Coffee Plant

 

On Christmas, one of our traditional dishes is called Tamales. The tradition is that the entire family get together to prepare them, which usually take hours and hours. They’re packed on a Hoja de Plátano and you can eat them at breakfast, at the afternoon coffee and even at dinner. The special thing about them is that you cook them on a Cocina de Leña.

 

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Imagen taken from: http://insidecostarica.com/

 

 

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Image taken from: http://qcostarica.com/

 

When it comes to music, one of our famous instruments is the Marimba, it’s sound is beautiful. It is commonly played on September 15, which is the date we celebrate our Independency from Spain. Every year, there’re lots of parades, where people dress up with our traditional costume and they danced to it. Actually, every school’s bands go to the parade, which every province does one.

 

MARIMBA.jpg
Imagen taken from: http://periodicogente.co.cr/

 


Ticos

Now, let’s talk about how we, ticos, are. We are known to be very affective and gentle, specially with foreign people (compared to other countries and cultures; also, this is a general thought, obviously not all of the population is like that).  Sadly, some of us are know to be kind of unpunctual at everything; but I know that there’s a few of us that aren’t.

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*Image taken from: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/294704369339455774/

But, just as any country, we sadly have corruption, criminality and poverty, and just as those countries we try to reduce it, every day by making a change, at least some of us do. What I’m really thankful for is that we don’t have the amount and type of criminality that other countries have.


I consider that ticos are a peaceful society and we just try to go with our day without fear or any of those concerns that sadly so many countries have. And with that I’m really proud to say that we DO NOT HAVE ARMY! Thank God, we don’t!

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*Image taken from: https://discoverybeachouse.com/

I have a funny experience with this exact topic: I was on a school exchange in Massachusetts, where I stayed with a family (a lovely one). So, we were in the car, I think we were coming back from the mall, and the mother was driving. They’re were asking we about Costa Rica, and I was telling them random things about my country, and I said “Oh, and we also don’t have army”. Guys, I don’t lie when I say that the mother brake the car so hard, the I’m sure she left the marks of the wheels on the road. She immediately looked at me with the most shocked face I have ever seen and said “WHAT”. She looked so confused and I didn’t know what to say, after a few seconds she asked that what we do when someone one to attack us: my answer was so simple, I said “Um, well, no one wants to”. Then she turned around and continue driving, but her shocking expression didn’t change for the entire way to the house.

I think it was so funny because just as she was so used to her countries army, I’m so used that mine doesn’t have one! Costa Rica, abolished the army on 1948! There’s a popular refrán here that says: “Feliz la madre costarricense es saber que su hijo nunca será soldado” (“The happiness of any Costa Rican mother is to known that her son will never be a soldier”).

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*Image taken from: http://www.radiolatinamerika.no/


Sayings

As any other country, we have our own “sayings” that are not just rare and unusual, but funny. Our most popular saying is PURA VIDA, which has many meanings: hi, good, thank you, all good.

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There’s actually a very funny video that some students from one of our Universities made that refers exactly to this topic. It’s called “Gringo Pinto”, here is the link (I recommend you to watch it first and then come back here for it’s explanation)

Video https://youtu.be/lf76qGmVZw8

I know that most of you don’t understand it, let me explain. The video is about a gringo (For a little reference, called Gringo to anyone from the U.S.A, because when it was the battle with William Walker, we saw that the U.S.A army had a green suit, so we said GREEN GO. And if you type the sound of it in Spanish it is: Gringo) that was asking for directions to a guy, and he answer him with the most unformal way of speaking that we have here. So, here’s some words that the guy said and it’s translation.

  • “Mi Compa” or “Mae”: means like Dude
  • “Topar con cerca”: It’s literal meaning is “hitting the fence”. Informal meaning: “Until the end of the road”
  • “Es un queque”: It’s literal meaning is “cake”. Informal meaning: “easy”
  • “Pongase las pilas”: It’s literal meaning is “Put on the batteries”. Informal meaning: “Pay attention”
  • “Pele la oreja”: It’s literal meaning is “peal the ear”. Informal meaning: “listen carefully”
  • “Agarrar la lata”: It’s literal meaning is “take the can”. Informal meaning: “take the bus”
  • “Si no le pinta”: It’s literal meaning is “if it doesn’t paint”. Informal meaning: “if you don’t like it”
  • “Agarrar un pirata”: It’s literal meaning is “pick a pirate”. Informal meaning: “take a taxi”
  • “Cara de pistola”: It’s literal meaning is “Gun face”. Informal meaning: “rude”
  • “Echar mas harina”: It’s literal meaning is “throw more wheat”. Informal meaning “pay more”
  • “Cabra”: It’s literal meaning is “goat”. Informal meaning: “girlfriend or girl”
  • “Nave”: It’s literal meaning is “space ship”. Informal meaning: “car”

 Sports

I’m pretty sure that at least one tico can play one of all sports out there. Sadly, we, as society, only focus our attention on one: Soccer. Don’t get me wrong, Soccer is an amazing sport, we I think that we’re better as much others that some of us don’t even know about. Soccer can be the reason of so many hate and criminality, but also it can be able to unite us all when out Sele plays. Every time that out national Soccer team plays, the entire country collapsed, everyone dress up with the official t-shirt and we all do the effort to watch it with friends and family. My favorite memory with this sport, was last 2014 on the World Cup. That year was the best, even the president celebrated it on the Rotonda de la Hispanidad with everyone! Even though we didn’t win the World Cup, we had never got as far as that year.

Actually, there’s a very emotional video about it, I’ll leave the link if you want to watch it. My eyes water every time I watch it!

Video: https://youtu.be/1GcV2fmp4PU

Here are some of our amazing athletes:

*Images taken from: http://critica.com/,  http://www.prensa.com/

*Images taken from: https://www.spaceboxing.com/, http://www.nacion.com/


And there you go guys, a little taste of my country. You’re very welcome to visit it and I’m sure you’ll have an amazing experience. I hope you like it and let know on the comments below what you think!

Here are more images of my country:

 

*Images taken from: https://www.cityexpress.com/blog

 

*Images taken from http://www.greenfieldrealtor.com/, http://www.wikipedia.com/,

Until next time, Chao! -Hily

 

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