Located on the land bridge between North and South America, Costa Rica sandwiches itself just to the south of Nicaragua and to the north of Panama.
A country about the size of West Virginia with a population of 5 million (about half the population of Chicago) you can’t wonder far without hearing their coined phrases pura vida, mae, or tuanis.
Costa Rica’s claim to fame is their rainforests and tropical beaches which comprise 5% of the world’s biodiversity and are the main visitor attractions.
San José houses the government institutions and is a hotbed for call centers, IT and software development companies. It also has one of the best climates on earth, with average temperatures in the upper 70’s and plenty of sun year round.
There is significant demand for native English speakers to teach in Costa Rica. The Costa Rican government places a high priority on education and has poured its energy and resources into this sector of society in a significant way. As a result of this, and ongoing reforms, its literacy rate is 95%.
Costa Rica is one of the longest running and most stable democracies anywhere in Central or South America.
Months: December to April (This is common in the central valley and San Ramon).
Nevertheless it is not weird to get a one off storm or shower, especially in the forest or mountain areas. Sunny mornings are expected and clear sky afternoons.
Heaviest months of rain: September, October and November.
In the Northern part of Costa Rica afternoon or night rains are usual.
In the Central Pacific it is usually hot and dry with rain in the afternoon or night. In the south, it’s mostly humid but very hot as well. Could rain at any time.
In the Central Valley the climate is mostly cool, and rainy. The rain is expected at noon or later.
In the Caribbean it’s very humid and hot all year round.
Rain can be expected at any time. Interestingly, October tends to be the driest month of the year.
Without an army since the 1950s, a pacifist society is the norm. Without a military to fund, investment was made in education and healthcare, making Costa Rica a prosperous Central American country with a strong middle class.
Nowadays, it’s common for people to graduate high school and go to university.
Even the rural areas are being afforded this opportunity as universities expand and the population’s interest for education grows. Despite this, Costa Ricans are still very traditional. Children rarely move out before marriage and often make educational choices based on distance from their home.
Gender roles are still influenced by a machista culture. This culture is not as strong as in other Central American countries, however the tradition is still present and even embraced to some extent.
Ticos stay up to date with what’s happening, especially technology. The expansion of the internet and wifi throughout the country has made smart phones a common sight.
People bury themselves in social media and love to share memes and jokes amongst friends and family members.
Families can now afford laptops, tablets and services such as Netflix and Uber. There are very few things technologically that you can’t get in Costa Rica which is why many foreigners relocate to Costa Rica since the services are pretty much the same.
Costa Ricans, however, are not the most punctual. When dealing with foreign business and private sec- tor work they adapt, but in general 5-10mins late is not frowned upon.
They do rise early as most schools begin at 7am and go to 4 or even 4:30pm some days.
Daylight hours are approx. 6am to 6pm making it beneficial to rise early and take advantage of the day, especially in the rainy season when it often rains in the afternoon.
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