The Republic of Costa Rica is located in the heart of the Americas. Its capital is San Jose and its official language is Spanish. Costa Rica has been an army-free country since 1948. It made this decision because it decided to invest and focus its efforts on its people’s education and health. It was the first country in Latin America that was lit with electrical energy, and is one of the most stable democracies in the Americas.
The Beginning of Costa Rica’s Democratic Life
Costa Rica became independent on September 15, 1821, joining the Federal Republic of Central America, which it was a part of from 1824 to 1838. The republic was dissolved in 1838 due to internal struggles between the States.
The country declared its independence little by little, and on August 31, 1848, Costa Rica became a Republic, with Jose Maria Castro Madriz as the last Head of State and the first President of the Republic.
In 1856, Costa Rica joined the war against William Walker, an American “filibuster” who tried to convert Central America into a region that would provide slaves for North America. The National Hero of Costa Rica, Juan Santamaria, distinguished himself as an important person in Costa Rican history by joining the Battle of Rivas, which happened on April 11, 1856.
Costa Rica: A Force for Peace
After a brief civil war in 1949, the constitution established the abolishment of the army, and today Costa Rica continues to be a force for peace, with its lack of a military and with one of the highest literacy rates in the world.
With a balanced social and economic structure, the country has had an uninterrupted democratic system based on universal suffrage. Since 1949, elections have regularly taken place every four years, making the country one of the most stable in the region.
Thanks to the abolishment of the military, Costa Rica has been able to finance areas such as education and health, and today it stands out internationally thanks to its consolidated democratic system and its efforts to reach carbon neutrality by the year 2021.