CULTURE AND HERITAGE
The rich culture of Costa Rica is a combination of the indigenous people who were originally settled in the country and the Spanish immigrants that have mixed into the population. Among these two dominant demographics, there are other ethnic groups that have blended in with these cultures.
This is one of the only countries in the region that prides itself on not having an official military. Their military was officially abolished in 1948, where the money was used to improve the quality of life to the rest of the population. This is one of the underlying factors that contribute to the level of happiness that many Costa Ricans find themselves privy to. Costa Ricans are well regarded as extremely hospitable and friendly to travelers visiting the country.
Costa Rican cuisine is a blend of Native American, Spanish, African and many other cuisine origins. Dishes such as the very traditional tamale and many others made of corn are the most representative of its indigenous inhabitants, and similar to other neighboring Mesoamerican countries. Spaniards brought many new ingredients to the country from other lands, especially spices and domestic animals. And later in the 19th century, the African flavor lent its presence with influence from other Caribbean mixed flavors. This is how Costa Rican cuisine today is very varied, with every new ethnic group who had recently become part of the country’s population influencing the country’s cuisine.