Republic of Costa Rica
República de Costa Rica
Political Status: Part of the Captaincy General of Guatemala that declared independence from Spain in September 1821; member of the United Provinces of Central America that was launched in 1824; autonomy reestablished in 1839; republic declared in 1848; democratic constitutional system instituted in 1899.
Area: 19,575 sq. mi. (50,700 sq. km.).
Population: 3,810,179 (2000C); 4,352,000 (2007E).
Major Urban Centers (2005E): SAN JOSÉ (344,000), Limón (62,000), Alajuela (49,000), San Francisco (46,000).
Principal Language: Spanish (there is no “official” language).
Monetary Unit: Colón (market rate November 1, 2008: 555.67 colónes = $1US).
President: Oscar ARIAS Sánchez (National Liberation Party); elected on February 5, 2006, and inaugurated for a four-year term on May 8, succeeding Abel PACHECO de la Espriella (Social Christian Unity Party).
First Vice President: Laura CHINCHILLA ...