COSTA RICA AND THEIR CULTURE
Your first impression of the country may not be one of great cultural diversity, but you'll soon see that the reality is different. It is true that, contrary to other Central American nations, Costa Rica does not have a large population descended from the Indians who occupied these lands before the arrival of the Spanish people. But that first mix of native and Hispanic settlers was followed by successive waves of immigrants from around the world, with new customs to add to the Costa Rican cultural menu.
In the 19th century, many Jamaican workers arrived to build the railroad between San Jose and Puerto Limón. Once the work was finished, they found opportunities in the emerging banana plantations in the Atlantic lowlands and settled in the area. At the same time, the country received Chinese and Italians who, the end of the 20th century, were joined to thousands of Nicaraguans, Salvadorans and Colombians who were escaping from the civil wars and looking for a better future for their own.
Although it is difficult to determinate the percentage of descendants of the pre-Columbian natives, there is reference to 2% of the total population; they try to keep their cultural elements alive in territories such as Guanacaste, in the northwest of the country and there are still eight tribes fighting for the survival of their identity.
The development of rural community tourism is facilitating the traveler to get to know the day-to-day life of those who live and work here, and is a very rewarding way to get involved in the routine and customs of the Tica population.