Japan World Exposition - Osaka 1970 - Expo'70

Human progress and harmony

March 15, 1970 - September 13, 1970

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Costa Rica

Costa Rica at the Exhibition Expo Osaka 1970

© Expo'70

Costa Rica was discovered, and named, by Christopher Columbus in 1502. It declared its independence in 1821. The backbone of Costa Rica is a chain of highlands that runs northwest to southeast. In central Costa Rica, about 12 kilometres north of the main mountain ridge, is a series of 11 large volcanic cones. The southern Pacific coast, formerly jungle territory, has been opened up and is crossed by the Inter-American Highway.

The population of Costa Rica was estimated at 1707,000 in mid-1969. Over 95 percent of the population is of European origin. The proportion of Spanish blood in Costa Rica is greater than in other Latin American republics. The colonial period was one of poverty and neglect, but since the mid-19th century the country has enjoyed general peace. Visitors to Costa Rica immediately sense the democratic climate that prevails in the country. Every citizen, from the humble peasant to the university professor, has an attitude that combines self-respect with participation in community life. Love of the land is another dominant characteristic of the population, and in this respect, an economic system has been created that functions very well.

The main country products are coffee, bananas, abaca, fibre, meat, cocoa beans and sugar. In the mountainous regions, forest products such as balsa, cedar, dyewood, mahogany and rosewood are produced on the mountain slopes. Costa Rica's main exports are coffee, bananas, cocoa beans, beef and sugar.

Costa Ricans have the highest annual income in Central America, which in 1968 was $457. They also have a high level of education. According to a 1963 survey, about 94 percent of the population in urban areas, and 78 percent in agrarian areas, were literate.