Costa Rica - Encyclopedia Information
Official name Republic of Costa Rica
Formation 1838 / 1838
Capital San José
Population 4.6 million / 233 people per sq mile (90 people per sq km)
Total area 19,730 sq. miles (51,100 sq. km)
Languages Spanish*, English Creole, Bribri, Cabecar
Religions Roman Catholic 71%, Evangelical 14%,Nonreligious 11%, Other 4%
Ethnic mix Mestizo and European 94%, Black 3%, Chinese 1%, Other 1%, Amerindian 1%
Government Presidential system
Currency Costa Rican colón = 100 céntimos
Literacy rate 96%
Calorie consumption 2813 kilocalories
Costa Rica lies north of Panama and south of Nicaragua. When part of the Spanish Empire, it seems to have received a lot less attention from us than other parts of Spain’s American Empire. Not, I expect, that the locals were disappointed about that.
Nevertheless, armed Brits have spent time in and around it. Sir Francis Drake sailed the waters off Costa Rica’s Pacific coast in the late sixteenth century. His ship, the Golden Hind, was beached for a week at Cano Island and the nearby Drake Bay is, not surprisingly, named after him. Assorted privateers and pirates from Britain spent time in the area doing what pirates do. George Shelvocke, for instance, dropped in on Cano Island in 1721.
We’ve also seen action on Costa Rica’s Caribbean Coast. In 1747, for instance, a force of English baymen and locals from the Mosquito Coast attacked and destroyed Fort San Fernando in the Matina area of Costa Rica.