Embassy of Costa Rica in Canada - cultural
Embassy Of Costa Rica In Canada
Costa Rica is a country rich in traditions and folclore. In this section,
we would like to share with you some aspects about our culture. If you
are interested to know about our poetry, music, museums and more, please
let us know, we look forward to assist you.
|Country capital: ||San José |
|Area: ||51,000 square kilometres (19,652 sq. miles) |
|Language: ||Spanish. |
|Location: ||Located in the Central American isthmus, immediately north of
Panama, with ports in both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and 153
highway miles between them |
|Climate: ||Costa Rica has two seasons: a "green" or "rainy"
season that runs from May to November and a dry season that begins
in December and ends in April. The average temperature in the Central
Valley is 22 C, while in the coasts and at the beaches it ranges
from 22 to 32 C. Almost 30% of our territory is a National Park
protected by law. |
|Population: ||4,500.000 inhabitants |
|Density: ||88.23 Inhabitants’ p/sq.kilometre/141.96 inhabitants p/sq.mile) |
Living conditions and indicators: Education: Thanks to its free, yet mandatory public
education system established in 1917, Costa Ricans enjoy a high level
of education and one of the highest literacy rates (95.5%).
Life expectancy: 76.1 years.
Educational Institutions: 6147 primary and secondary
schools and 50 universities.
Education expenditures: 6.52% of GDP (2000). Minimum
fixed by law at 6% of GDP.
Youth literacy: 98.3%.
Population served with piped water: 99%.
Public health services coverage: 90.4% of population.
Health expenditures: 27.8% of government budget.
Access to telephone service: 92% of population.
According to the United Nations' Human Development Index (HDI)
for 2008: Costa Rica has one of the highest ratings among developing
Political environment: Traditional and stable democracy,
army abolished in 1949.
The political structure establishes three independent powers:
1) Executive: President and Ministers
2) Legislative: 57 elected Representatives
Presidential term in Office: 4-year period, without continuous re-election.
The current President of Costa Rica is Mrs. Laura Chinchilla
Miranda (May 2010-2014) who took Office on May 8th 2010.
Main exports: Electronic
components, textiles, bananas, coffee, medical devices, pineapples,
foliage and ornamentals, fish and seafood, processed foods.
Major revenue generator (estimate): electric
circuits and microstructures, Tourism.
Our national emblem.
Central America is imprinted in silver letters on the blue ribbon at
the top of the coat of arms. The two branches of myrtle closing the
coat of arms represent the peace of Costa Rica. On the white ribbon
that joins the branches, the title "Republica de Costa Rica"
(Republic of Costa Rica) is imprinted in golden letters. The seven stars
above the volcanoes represent the seven provinces of Costa Rica.
The volcanoes represent the three Costa Rica's mountain range systems.
They form a valley and divide the country in two parts. The two oceans
represent the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. The merchant ships sailing
on each ocean represent the cultural and commercial exchange between
Costa Rica and the rest of the world. The rising sun represents the
prosperity of Costa Rica.
Our national flower.
A beautiful kind of a purple orquidea popularly called "Guaria
Morada", was declared as national symbol in 1939.
Our national tree.
A tree called "Guanacaste" as the Province where it is found,
was declared National tree in 1959, as a tribute for the province's
joining to Costa Rica in 1825.
Our national fowl.
El Yiguirro was declared national symbol in 1976. Its beautiful singing
announces the coming of the rainy season.
Our national symbol of labor.
La Carreta or Oxcart was declared national symbol of labor in 1988.
During the 19 century was used as a transportation tool for coffee plantations
Our national heroe.
Juan Santamaria, a young drummer boy who became a national hero by torching
a fort where Walker's troop "called filibusters" was encamped
in April 11,1856.
Our national heroine.
Francisca "Pancha" Carrasco 1826-1890. The first costarrican
heroine who joined the army to fight against Walker s filibusters in
April, 11, 1856. She was condecorated by the Government for her important
participation in this action.
1-Cup black beans
1-Medium onion, finely chopped
1-Red pepper, chopped
¼ cup olive oil
½ cup rice
Salt and pepper to taste
1 bay leaf
As in any regional dish, this one has many variations. Traditionally,
Gallo Pinto or Rice Beans is served at breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
By itself, the combination of the carbohydrates and the protein in the
rice and the beans forms a complete meal, equal to meat and potatoes.
It is common to be served this dish with sour cream or a fried egg for
breakfast, or as a sidedish with meat an d potatoes for lunch.
The beans are soaked overnight and then cooked with enough water to
cover in a pressure cooker 45 min. or buy canned black beans.
Cook rice as you would in water with salt, following instructions.
See variations below.
In a pot, with olive oil, cook garlic and remove, cook onion and red
peppers until tender, stir in the beans and add salt and pepper to taste,
a pinch of oregano and a bay leaf. Stir in the cooked rice, mix well,
Some variations are the addition of sausage, vegetables, serving cold
with pasta as a salad, as stuffing for the Christmas turkey. Some people
cook the rice in the resulting liquid from the beans being cooked. Overall
a very tasty and simple dish.
2-HEARTS OF PALM RICE
6 cups of cooked rice
¾ cup of chopped onions
½ cup of chopped celery
½ pound of suisse cheese (grated)
2 cans of Hearts of Palm
1 pint of table cream
0.750 1t. of milk
60 gr.of parmesan cheese
½ pound of butter
½ cup of flour
½ tsp of pepper
In a broad based saucepan over medium heat place butter and onion and
brown lightly. Add celery, flour, table cream, and stirs well. Add milk
and simmer. Add salt, pepper, and half the suisse cheese. Keep one cup
of this sauce aside topping. Pour half of this mixture into the cooked
rice and the other half into the hearts of palm,( previously sliced
in small pieces).
On large rectangular Pyrex place one layer of rice, 1 layer of hearts
of palms, 1 layer of suisse cheese, and a layer of rice. Add the cup
of mixture, the parmesan cheese, and butterballs. Place it in the oven
for 30 minutes just to heat it.
3-CREMA DE PEJIBAYE
8 cups chicken stock
2 cups whipping cream
½ cup brandy or cognac
115 grams of butter
4 tbs. flour
2 minced onion
2 bay leaf
salt and pepper
Cook the onion on low heat in the melted butter, stirring from time
to time until soft.
Add the flour and stir a few minutes. Add the chicken stock, the cooked
pejibayes, peeled, without the seed and chopped. Add the bay leaf, salt
and pepper to taste. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove the bay
Process or pass through the blender, just before serving, add the cream
and the brandy and keep in low until it is to be served.
Pejibayes are the fruit of palm tree that only grows in the highlands
of Costa Rica and Colombia, in Colombia they are called chontaduros,
and they can be found in jars at the Mercado Latino here in Ottawa.
They come already cooked in the jar.
1Kilo ripe mangos, or substitute for concentrate
3tbs. unflavored gelatin
½ cup cold water
3 egg whites
1 cup sugar
3 egg yolks
1 cup whipping cream
mango slices to decorate
Mangos are peeled and cut in chunks. Put them in the food processor
and process until smooth, strain. You should end up with 2 cups of mango
Dissolve the gelatin in cold water, then melt in a double boiler (bain
marie). Place the mango in a saucepan, sugar and yolks, cook at medium
fire for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon.
Add the dissolved gelatin and cook for one more minute. Remove from
the fire and let it cool a bit.
Beat the egg whites until it peaks. Beat separately the cream until
it peaks. Fold in the egg whites and the whipped cream to he mango mixture.
Place in a ring mold (8 cup capacity) and let it cool until it sets,
unmold and decorate with slices of mango.
5-CEVICHE DE PESCADO (MARINATED FISH)
5 lb. firm-fleshed white fish (sea bass or red snapper)
Juice of 15 to 20 limes or lemons.
1 cup chopped onions
¼ cup finely chopped fresh coriander or parsley
¼ cup finely chopped red pepper
Salt, pepper, paprika, and Worcestershire sauce, to taste
Finely chopped fresh parsley, garnish
Cut the fish in ½ inches squares. Marinated for six hours in
the lime juice. Add the onions and marinated 1 hour.
Add the rest of the ingredients and mix very carefully.
Cover and chill for about 4 hours.
Serve in small bowls, garnished with parsley, with seafood cocktail
sauce or hot suce on the side. Eat either with soda crackers or plantain
Important note on the Ceviche:
Please note that ceviche is a form of cooking not with heat, but with
the acid of the lemons, we usually leave it (marinating) overnight for
a firmer meat. It is not, as some people refer to it as a raw fish.
6-NO-COOK RUM CHIQUITAS
2-4 ripe bananas, sliced crosswise diagonally
¼ cup rum
¼ tsp. Grated nutmeg
fresh orange slices for garnish
Place the bananas in a bowl. Pour rum over them and sprinkle with the
sugar and spices. Allow to marinate about one hour. Garnish with slices
of fresh orange.