Monday, February 27, 2012
Thursday, February 23, 2012
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Costa Rican exports in January topped $836 million, the equivalent of an 18.6 percent increase over the same month in 2011, the Foreign Trade Ministry reported Monday. Exports in January 2011 totaled $705 million.
“January’s export numbers were excellent. As in 2011, we are continuing to see growth in many sectors and an increase in export markets," Foreign Trade Minister Anabel González said. “If this trend continues, 2012 will be a great year for the export sector and for the Costa Rican economy.”
North America remains Costa Rica's biggest market, with 43.4 percent of Costa Rica's exports, a total of $363 million. The European Union follows, with 17 percent of Tico exports, or $142 million, followed by Central America with 14.6 percent, or $122 million.
Thursday, February 16, 2012
Sunday, February 12, 2012
Thursday, February 9, 2012
Monday, February 6, 2012
Music is an integral part of most Latin American cultures and Costa Rica is no exception.
Costa Ricans enjoy Latin,American and British contemporary rock, and have a special affinity for tunes from the 70's and 80's. However, when it comes to dancing, most prefer the traditional Latin rhythms of salsa, merengue, cumbia, lambada and so ca.
On the weekends, discos and dance halls are packed, as the typically conservative locals let loose and flirt wildly while dancing the night away.
Costa Rica is home to a diverse musical scene. From classical to calypso, music is everywhere-in the streets, homes, restaurants, bars, discos and theaters.
The Orquesta Sinfonica Nacional has received international acclaim under the direction of its current conductor, Chosei Komatsu, and is considered one of the major orchestras of Latin America. San Jose's National Theater hosts a variety of concerts, from classical guitar to solo pianists and grand symphony orchestras.
Other venues of interest include the Teatro Mozart and the Costa Rican and NorthAmericanCultural Center.
The African-derived marimba is a very popular instrument in Costa Rican folk music. Groups like Cantares bring authentic Costa Rican folk music to the world. As they come across interesting stories, recipes, nicknames, anecdotes, tongue twisters and old customs, they transform them into the most genuine form of Costa Rican folk music.
Several jazz cafes and restaurants in and around the Escazu and San Jose area are excellent options to watch new musicians play acoustic and jazz sets.
On the Caribbean coast, the music is rooted in African rhythms with steel drums and reggae beats. Calypso is a particular style of Afro-Caribbean music which originated in Trinidad with slaves who used the music as a means to communicate and tell stories. Walter Ferguson of Cahuita,Costa Rica is a popular Calypso musician. His songs include anecdotes about his childhood in poverty stricken Panama and are an excellent illustration of Afro-Caribbean culture.
Contemporary Costa Rican Musicians
Malpais is a Costa Rican band that blends traditional folk music with contemporary rock and jazz, to create a unique sound that is popular with all ages. Their music reminisces about Costa Rican small town life and denotes a general longing for the past.
Read the full story on Costarica.com
Thursday, February 2, 2012
Overtly aware of the many Crayola-colored poisonous frogs crouched in the corners of the shed, I hopped on one foot trying on rubber boots until I finally found a pair that fit. The size of a thumbnail, these tiny creatures are actually only toxic if you ingest them, and I was not into kissing any frogs that day. But I could have: the dendrobatids were just adorable – and rare, as they’re critically endangered due to habitat loss and pollution.
The mere presence of these rainbow-splashed amphibians at Costa Rica’sSelva Verde Lodge testified to the measures this award-winning establishment has undertaken to protect and maintain this fragile ecosystem over the past three decades. Deep in the lowland rainforest two hours north of the capitol city of San Jose, Selva Verde Lodge is a true pioneer in the ecotourism business.
At the time the lodge was founded, Costa Rica’s entire Atlantic coast to central valley was a sweeping expanse of rainforest. Now just a smattering of farms, reserves and plantations remain, supplying the needed swathes of natural habitat that allow wildlife to migrate and maintain optimal biodiversity. Selva Verde oversees a vital part of theSan Juan–La Selva Biological Corridor, and we had the opportunity to explore a portion of it on a naturalist-led hike when we arrived. Donning thick rubber boots (to protect us from stinging and biting creatures), we breathed in the fresh jungle air as we trekked over suspension bridges, along a rushing stream, and beneath the sigh of the canopy. Our guide pointed out the unique characteristics of nearly every living thing, and how it thrived amidst the roughly 500-acre Preservation Area. Sustainability
The resort proves a tranquil destination for all ages and abilities. Accommodations are clustered in understated wooden structures connected by a series of covered walkways (which are peppered with giant water dispensers – to eliminate the use of plastic bottles). Wrap-around balconies hung with colorful hammocks allow for relaxing days; oversized screened windows let the cool air in at night – along with the boisterous calls of marauding howler monkeys. Selva Verde was awarded Costa Rica’sCertification for Sustainable Tourism(CST) for the implementation of water conservation and wastewater management systems, energy conservation, the use of biodegradable laundry and cleaning products and maintaining the grounds without the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides. The lodge also controls excessive noise and light pollution to limit the effects on wildlife and the environment.
Read more about colorful Costa Rica on Ecology.com