Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Typical "Tico" house

Costa Ricans in Guanacaste live in houses such as this one, often colorful and reflecting a pride of ownership. This photo was taken in a nearby village, as most of the housing units in Tamarindo are condominiums and homes for the international community.

Costa Ricans refer to themselves by the nickname "Tico" because of their practice of adding the suffix "ico" to make the diminutive form of a noun.

Ticos are justifiably proud of their high (95%) literacy rate and health care. In the late 1940's, the country abolished its military and redirected the money from the military budget to education and health care. The result has been a stable democracy, well-informed electorate, and standard of living that is unique among Central American countries.

8 comments:

Hilda said...

Oh wow, your description suddenly makes me want to leave the Philippines (and I must say that I've never been tempted by any other country). I'm envious of their government. No wonder I don't read much about Costa Rica in the news—hardly any bad news that would be of interest to the global community? Even the houses sound lovely!

Abraham Lincoln said...

I think we could do the same thing if we would stop killing people in Iraq. But our lawmakers have a pension plan for everyone that only includes them and the rest of us can suffer with the dogs of our democracy and pay for health care, education and housing. What a waste of money.

I must applaud the people of Costa Rica

David said...

Costa Rica regards itself as the "Switzerland of Central America." In future posts I will show some scenes from the cloud forest at Monteverde, which was settled by American Quakers who moved to Costa Rica to obey their reliegious convictions when they were threatened with being drafted into the army during the Korean War. They read about Costa Rica abolishing its military and decided that was the place for them.

After they established a community at Monteverde, contributions from school children decades ago, initiated by children in Scandinavia, helped establish the children's peace cloud forest to preserve some of the most fragile environment on the planet, which happened to be located in Monteverde, and the area has become a mecca for students studying the environment.

In the 1980's, Costa Rica was pressured by the U.S. to assist contra rebels from Nicaragua who wanted to train in Costa Rica for military operations against the Sandanistas. Although Costa Rica had a heavy foreign debt at the time, it guarded its peaceful role and refused badly needed foreign aid if it came with strings attached to require the country to get involved in allowing military operations from its soil.

Rather than taking the money and being drawn into a conflict, the President of Costa Rica at the time, Oscar Arias, instead negotiated a peaceful settlement of the conflict in Nicaragua, for which he was awarded the Nobel Peace Price.

Costa Ricans are justifiably proud of their record of democracy and peace. And Oscar Arias has been elected President of the country again and currently serves in that position.

David

bitingmidge said...

I'm really enjoying your commentary as well!

Sunshine Coast Daily - Australia

Kris McCracken said...

That’s a really interesting green there. I very much appreciate the commentary, which really does enhance the experience!

arizonagirl said...

Tico houses are so colorful!

Richard said...

I've only visited Costa Rica once and am prepared to move in next door...I recently received my Pensionado in Panama and will be settling in either David or Bocas del Toro. I enjoy your blog, especially photos of ordinary life. One thing I noticed about the typical country house in Panama is that the owners generally, not always, paint only the side of the house that has the main entrance usually the one facing the road. Is it similar in Costa Rica, too?

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