Costa Rica's Cultural Heritage
Costa Rican culture has been influenced by a variety of ethic groups. Spanish and European influence has been the most important, but Jamaican and Chinese have had their mark especially in the caribbean region of the country.

Due to the pronunciation of some diminutive nouns, the Costa Ricans have been long called "Ticos" by people from other countries. They usually add the "tico" at the end of words to make them diminutive in a friendly and familiar way.

Some of Costa Rican musical folklore achievements are the rhythm known as "Tambito" and the "Punto", in fact, most music and the most representative folklore comes from the north of the country and the Atlantic coast (the afro-caribbean culture). One of the most distinctive musical genres are the punto, such as the "Punto guanacasteco", from Guanacaste, and the "Punto SancarleƱo" from San Carlos, Alajuela.

Some of the most important idiosyncratic elements of the Costa Rican people are the "quedar bien" and the "choteo". Most ticos tend to be cynical about their government and the future of the country, so they use lots of irony when talking, this is known as the "choteo". Most of them are politically and socially passive and avoid confrontations; this practice is the quedar bien. They would rather lie to someone's face rather than confront them and cause problems in order to stay within quedar bien. This is consistent with their demilitarized status due to the fact that people who do not seem to be a threat will often not be threatened.

Education is extremely valued in Costa Rica, as matter of fact, the elementary school is free and mandatory for all citizens, the high school is free also. There are four major public universities (including the most important university of Central America: the University of Costa Rica). There exist too a large variety of private education.

Catholicism is recognized as the official religion in Costa Rica; many ticos will claim they are Catholic, but very few actually follow the religion's doctrine wholeheartedly. There are also small groups who practice a mixture of Catholicism, occultism, and traditions of their african/Indian ancestry.

Pura Vida !
One thing to know about the Ticos is their free spirit and love for life. You will often hear the people greet or salute friends with the phrase "PURA VIDA" or "PURA VIDA MAE", which translate to Pure Life and Pure Life Dude. The people in Costa Rica live by this anthem. You'll find the Ticos don't sweat the small stuff, don't rush, and spend quality time with family. These are just a few things that encompass the anthem "pura vida" the best way to feel this is to visit Costa Rica.

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School kids from Paraiso de Cartago
School Children in Paraiso de Cartago

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Boyero from Escazu
Farmer with oxcart in Escazu

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