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Costa Rica Culture and Mass Media

Culture

Cultural life is mainly of modern and predominantly Western style. Traditional crafts do not exist to any great extent, possibly with the exception of the colorfully painted ox cart that has become something of a national symbol. However, tourism has contributed to a boost for a modern craft with wood and ceramic utensils.

At the museums in the capital San José, gold and jade objects are preserved from the period before the arrival of the Europeans in the 16th century.

From the late 1920s a special Costa Rican tradition of landscape painting developed. A typical motif is white houses in sleepy mountain villages with volcanoes in the background, preferably in clear colors. A leading representative of this genre was Teodorico Quirós (1897–1977) who had been inspired by the French Impressionists.

  • Countryaah: Latest population statistics of Costa Rica, including religious profiles and major languages spoken as well as population growth rates in next three decades.

At the end of the 19th century, national literature emerged in Costa Rica. In the second half of the century, a so-called realistic-regional direction emerged, whose chief representative was Manuel Gonzáles Zeledon (pseudonym Magón, 1864-1936). Magón depicted life in San José. Aquileo Echeverría (1866-1909) is considered the national poet of the country.

The music is mainly Spanish, but also has African elements. European instruments such as guitar, mandolin and accordion dominate, but in folk music, marimba (xylophone) is also used, just as in neighboring countries north. Young people mostly listen to rock, but dancing makes Costa Rican people of all ages happy to typical Latin and Caribbean rhythms such as salsa, cumbia and merengue.

Culture of Costa Rica2013

November

Protest against tax reform and cuts

The trade union organization organizes a demonstration against planned tax reforms, increased electricity prices and austerity in welfare. President Chinchilla calls the demonstration "unfair and irresponsible".

October

The electoral movement is starting

The electoral movement before the February 2014 elections begins formally. The PLN candidate for the ruling party is Johnny Araya Monge, the nephew of former President Luís Alberto Monge. PAC has appointed Luis Guillermo Solís as his candidate (he is not related to the party's founder Ottón Solís who is not running for the first time). ML's candidate is Otto Guevara, who is running for the fourth time. Pusc has appointed the popular pediatrician Rodolfo Hernández Gómez as his candidate, but he will be resigning shortly after the electoral movement started, citing corruption and fragmentation within the country. Pusc's candidate will be Rodolfo Piza instead.

 

August

New suspicions against ex-president

A new criminal investigation is being launched against former President Miguel Ángel Rodríguez on suspicion of fraud during his tenure as president in 1998–2002 (see also December 2012). Suspicions are also directed at high-ranking persons within the state insurance company INS.

June

State visit from China

Chinese President Xi Jinping visits Costa Rica.

Criticism of threats from the president

President Laura Chinchilla pulls off a criticism storm on Twitter and other social media when she threatens to sue the person who slanders her on Facebook.

May

State visit from the United States

US President Barack Obama visits Costa Rica.

Security scandal leads to departures

A scandal involving the safety of President Laura Chinchilla leads to the resignation of three people: the country's intelligence and security chief, a presidential adviser, and the Minister of Communications. The background is that Chinchilla twice traveled abroad with an airplane that turned out to be a Colombian with suspected links to the drug trade. Both the plane and the owner were under the watch of the intelligence service when the president used it.

2012

December

Prohibition of pleasure hunting

Parliament unanimously adopts a law that prohibits hunting as a sport. Exceptions are made for research, traditional hunting for indigenous people and the shooting of excess animals. Costa Rica becomes the first country in Latin America with such a law. Fishing is not affected by the ban.

Ex-President is freed

Former President Miguel Ángel Rodríguez sentenced to five years in prison (see April 2011) is being released by an appeals court citing misconduct in the first trial. A former head of the French telecommunications giant Alcatel is also freed, as is a lawyer and two high-ranking people within the Costa Rican electricity company ICE.

May

More ministers are allowed to go

Justice Minister Hernando París and Minister of Communications Francisco Jiménez resign - the latter because of a corruption scandal. As a result, nearly half of President Chinchilla's ministers have been allowed to resign since she took office two years earlier. Her popularity figures are at the bottom and the tax reform seems to have slipped (see also April 2012).

April

Reversal for tax reform

The Constitutional Court states that the government's tax reform contravenes the Constitution as presented. Chinchilla calls it a disaster for the country. The week before, Chinchilla was hit by another setback in attempts to push through tax reform, when Finance Minister Fernando Herrero was forced to step down due to media attention that he was paying too little in property taxes. It is not a lot of money, but Herrero's situation became unsustainable as he has been a driving force in trying to push through tax reform. The head of the tax authority was also forced to resign for the same reason.

 

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