C is for COSTA RICA!
Word of the week: “etnicidad” or ethnicity
This country is sure to be any student’s daily dream. Its rich coffee, crisp mountainous air, and breathtaking beaches (that border both the Caribbean Sea and Pacific ocean, can grasp the heart of really ANYONE. Its division of sides also consists of a division between cultures. Hundreds of years ago a large influx of immigrants from Caribbean countries such as Jamaica and Haiti made their ways to coastal areas of Costa Rica such as Límon and Puerto Viejo. But even before then, African Americans were introduced into the country from the Spanish Slave trade. As a result of their presence and hard work, one of Costa Rica’s greatest exports was able to be shared with the world: coffee. Many of the (now) locals who live these areas have physical features that include but are not limited to darker skin, coarser hair, and more ethnic physical features that naturally derive from African Americans. Generally, the area of the island I reside on (the Pacific side), the natives have more distinguished features that favor those of Europeans. Again, including but not limited to lighter hair and eye colors, fairer skin etc. According to locals, it is more than the physical features that “divide” these two areas. In fact, the culture itself differs greatly. Down to the way they cook their foods and the ingredients used, reflect the backgrounds in which they come from. For example, “gallo pinto”, the very much popular national dish of rice and beans is eaten at all hours of the day. However, the more Caribbean style of cooking this dish includes a different order of spices and a very special addition of coconut milk. Essentially changing the entire flavor of this country’s most well-known plate. This social, yet very obvious division between Costa Ricans on both coastal sides of this rich country extends deeper than the change of a recipe. In the upcoming weeks, I look forward to uncovering more!
Fun fact: This “Rich Coast” Imports nearly 5 BILLION USD (2017) worth of goods to the United States.
Imports include, but are not limited to:
- Medical instruments (totaling $1.9 BILLION)
- Produce (pineapples, dates, nuts, etc.)
- Electric machinery