Costa Rica

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Costa Rica, a country of Central America, covers an area of 19,730 square miles. The capital is San José. Extending from northwest to southeast, Costa Rica is bounded on the north by Nicaragua, along its 185-mile northeastern coastline by the Caribbean Sea, on the southeast by Panama, and along its 630-mile southwestern coastline by the Pacific Ocean.
<br>Costa Rica has a narrow Pacific coastal region that rises abruptly into central highlands. The highlands, forming the rugged backbone of the country, descend much more gradually toward the generally wider Caribbean (Atlantic) Plain. The Pacific coast is generally lowland in character, and, like the Caribbean coast, it is lined with white sandy beaches. The country has made use of
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Most speak both Spanish and a Jamaican dialect of English, and Protestantism is the most widespread religion. In the Pacific south and on the San Carlos Plain, part of the northern lowlands, language and religious preferences are mixed. Most Costa Rican diversions are cosmopolitan rather than nationalistic in nature. The people of Costa Rica attend films with great frequency, enjoying international cinema. They listen to an extraordinary variety of music, especially from the many radio stations in the country. Residents of the Meseta Central attend the National Theatre, where the music played and the drama performed may come from any part of the world.
<br>Costa Rica has a developing market economy largely based on coffee and banana exports. Large gains in economic growth were interrupted in the mid-1970s, when plummeting coffee prices and substantial increases in oil prices resulted in a significant decline in agricultural production. Even so, agriculture accounts for approximately one-fifth of the gross domestic product (GDP) and employs more than one-fourth of the work force. Coffee is the single largest export item; other cash crops include bananas, beef, sugar, and cocoa. Staples such as corn, beans, and rice are also widely grown. The government has distributed high-yield varieties of coffee to growers and has provided farmers of other crops with improved seeds. Poor market conditions and bad
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