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Peace, Environmental Safety, Integration – Costa Rica a Mannequin State for Latin America?



Costa Rica went its personal manner: with out a military, however with investments in schooling and well being, a sustainable economic system and an open society, Costa Rica turned a mannequin state in Latin America.

Costa Rica is likely one of the most affluent, peaceable and sustainable international locations in Latin America. Though the Central American nation is positioned in one of the crucial insecure and unstable areas of the world, the small nation has managed to guard its peace and democracy. On the similar time, the Ticos (the frequent title for folks from Costa Rica) have made it affluent. The nation has grow to be one of the crucial common vacationer locations on the planet. All this even supposing earlier than independence, Costa Rica was one of the crucial insignificant and underdeveloped elements of the Spanish colonial empire.

However how did the small Central American nation handle to develop a lot? And what can different international locations study from Costa Rica? Listed below are three of an important factors.

Schoolbooks as a substitute of Firearms

Costa Rica received its independence with out violence in 1821. Nevertheless, the nation was not spared conflicts thereafter. Repeated wars and civil wars broke out. For instance, the American William Walker tried to beat all of Central America and set up a slave state there below the affect of the USA. Beneath the management of Costa Rica, nevertheless, the states of Central America had been capable of defeat William Walker.

The turnaround got here with Costa Rica’s final civil battle in 1948. On the finish of the battle, the military was abolished and since then Costa Rica has lived in unarmed neutrality. This makes Costa Rica one of many few international locations on the planet with out a military.

As an alternative of spending cash on weapons, Costa Rica invested in schooling and the well being system. The result’s spectacular: At present, the Ticos have the best life expectancy in Latin America and even do higher than the USA. In schooling, Costa Rica has one of many highest literacy charges and one of many highest percentages of college graduates in Latin America. This has led to a powerful civil society and a profitable economic system.

Costa Rica has not solely promoted peace in its personal nation, however has additionally labored for the peaceable decision of conflicts all through the area. The nation efficiently acted as a mediator within the civil wars in Nicaragua, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. For this dedication, the then Costa Rican President Oscar Arias Sánchez was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

Costa Rica is a Position Mannequin in Environmental Safety

Costa Rica is likely one of the most sustainable international locations on the planet and a mannequin of nature conservation. The nation obtains nearly 100% of its electrical energy from renewable power and is a worldwide pioneer along with international locations equivalent to Iceland and Norway. In 2017, the nation went a full 300 days with out fossil power in its electrical energy technology. Costa Rica is so profitable with its sustainable power that it could possibly even export electrical energy to neighbouring international locations.

The nation additionally has one of many largest biodiversities on the planet. Greater than 5 p.c of all recognized animal and plant species are native to Costa Rica, and this even supposing tiny Costa Rica makes up solely 0.03 p.c of the land space of our planet. By comparability, Austria is dwelling to solely about 0.53 p.c of the world’s biodiversity, regardless that the nation is nearly twice the dimensions of the Central American nation.

This isn’t by probability. Costa Rica has made nice efforts to guard its nature. Till the Nineteen Eighties, the nation was affected by heavy deforestation and solely about 30 p.c of the land was lined by forest. Costa Rica then launched an enormous marketing campaign to reforest the nation. At present, nearly 60 p.c of the nation’s territory is roofed with forest once more.

To guard nature in the long run, Costa Rica has created quite a few protected areas, together with 26 nationwide parks. The nationwide parks alone account for over 12 p.c of the nation’s floor space. To place that in perspective: Austria has six nationwide parks, which collectively make up lower than 3 p.c of the nationwide territory.

This isn’t solely good for animals and vegetation, but additionally for folks. Moreover being inexperienced lungs, the nationwide parks are additionally vacationer magnets. Round 2.5 million vacationers from overseas go to Costa Rica’s nationwide parks yearly. This makes the nation a pioneer in sustainable tourism.

Openness and Integration

Costa Rica could be very open and welcoming to folks from different international locations. That’s the reason the variety of folks dwelling in Costa Rica however born in different international locations has elevated rather a lot within the final many years. Individuals come from completely different international locations and for various causes. Costa Rica has an extended custom of welcoming refugees. Particularly when many international locations in Central America had been affected by civil wars, Costa Rica took in refugees. In latest many years, nevertheless, there has additionally been an elevated migration of employees from Nicaragua to Costa Rica to fill labour shortages in tourism and agriculture. Equally, many individuals from North America and Europe come to stay in Costa Rica due to the pure magnificence and nice local weather.

Costa Rica is relatively profitable in integrating these completely different teams into society. Moreover the openness of the inhabitants, that is primarily resulting from two causes: the authorized rules on this space and the nationwide understanding of the Ticos.

The most important authorized distinction between Costa Rica and lots of European international locations is that each one folks born in Costa Rica are routinely entitled to Costa Rican citizenship. Kids of Ticos born overseas are after all additionally entitled to citizenship. As well as, it’s simpler for folks with international passports to acquire Costa Rican citizenship than in Austria, for instance. In Costa Rica you solely need to stay within the nation for 5 years, in Austria for ten.

Costa Rica’s nationwide id additionally makes it a lot simpler for folks from overseas to combine. Being Ticos has to do with language and values. Anybody who speaks Spanish and makes use of typical Costa Rican expressions (equivalent to tuanis for “cool”, mae for “Oida” or pura vida for every little thing from “thanks”, “please” to “all is properly”) is shortly seen as a Tico. Values which might be extremely rated in Costa Rican society are pacifism, environmental safety, however particularly cosiness and conviviality. The main target of the nationwide understanding on language and values quite than pores and skin color or origin of the dad and mom makes it easy to combine into Costa Rican society.

Position mannequin however not with out flaws

This isn’t to say that Costa Rica is a paradise that’s flawless. The nation has many issues to beat. Though corruption in Costa Rica is low in comparison with different Latin American international locations, it nonetheless results in massive infrastructure tasks usually not being realised, being delayed or prices exploding. Nevertheless, it’s exactly these tasks that might be essential for the continued struggle towards local weather change. For instance, the enlargement of public transport in Costa Rica is lagging behind. Subsequently, most individuals nonetheless depend upon the automobile, even in city areas. As well as, social inequality and crime have grown lately. The general public well being and schooling methods are additionally below growing monetary strain.

Nonetheless, the instance of Costa Rica reveals {that a} nation with peaceable, social and sustainable growth will be profitable and international locations like Austria can even study rather a lot from this instance.

This publish was beforehand printed on and is republished right here below a Inventive Commons license.


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