The local “Mestizo” population descended from Spanish settlers and the indigenous Indian populations which included several tribes but mainly “Chorotega” and “Boruca” Indians. The blend of these two cultures has left Costa Rica with a colorful and rich legacy and the people are fun loving, happy and always have time to enjoy the simple peasures of life like food, family and making new friends and refer to thier lifestyle as “Pura Vida” ( the pure life). Most Costa Ricans refer to themselves as “Ticos” and the word is seen and heard everywhere you go.
An influx of retirees and business enterpreneurs from all over the globe has added another 10% to the population in the last two decades making Costa Rica a colorful and eclectic mix of many cultures and people and the most modern and progressive society in Central America.
There are plenty of opportunities during your visit to attend a variety of cultural activities. Folkloric dancing, music festivals, rodeos, artisan fairs, traditional pottery making, agricultural exhibitions, religious festivals, parades and the annual 4-7 day “Fiestas” held in most towns and villages are not to be missed.
Until the 1970’s Guanacaste, Costa Rica’s largest province was a rural area. Many large scale farming operations that produced beef, sugar cane and mangos in the past have diversified to include; melons, aloe vera, tropical fruits and rice. Today around 30% of the local population is engaged in agriculture, and 50% in tourism related industries and these two activites are mainstay of the workforce in Guanacaste. Other recent developments include commercial fishing and fish farming, lumber (teak, melina and tropical hardwoods), geothermal electric generation and light manufacturing.