Costa Rica at a glance
Costa Rica is a mountainous Central American nation. Nine per cent of its four million inhabitants profess to be evangelical; 85% are Roman Catholics.
Most Costa Ricans are Spanish or mestizo (mixed European-Amerindian); 3% are of black African origin (largely, English-speaking descendants of 19th-century Jamaican immigrants). Spanish is the official language.
Agriculture is central to the economy (coffee, bananas, sugar, cocoa), but electronics, manufacturing and tourism are expanding. High literacy rates, relatively low unemployment, and widespread land ownership have produced a relatively high standard of living for many Costa Ricans.
One of the most stable democracies in Latin America, it has escaped the political turmoil that has plagued other Latin American governments. Since the late 19th century, only two brief periods of violence have marred its development. Costa Rica abolished its army in 1948.
Latin America Mission