Costa Rica: A Global Studies Handbook

By Meg Tyler Mitchell; Scott Pentzer | Go to book overview

Series Editor’s Foreword

In a world in which borders are blurring and cultures are blending at a dizzying pace, becoming more globally aware and knowledgeable is imperative. This is especially true regarding one’s immediate neighbors, where the links are most intense and most profound. For this pragmatic reason, knowing more about Latin America is especially relevant to people living in the United States.

Beyond such a practical consideration, Latin America is a fascinating region of the world on its own terms, and it is worth the time and energy to get to know the region better simply as a matter of intellectual curiosity. By providing a readable and engaging introduction to a representative selection of the region’s countries, this series hopes to engage readers and nurture their curiosity in the region and its peoples.

One point that this series will make abundantly clear is that Latin America is not a homogeneous region. For example, its population is remarkably diverse. Indigenous peoples are spread throughout the region, constituting the majority of the population in countries where the largest of the region’s magnificent pre-Columbian civilizations were centered. Descendents of the Iberian European colonizers continue to dominate the region’s political and economic landscape, though recently arrived immigrant populations from Europe and Asia have made significant inroads into the economic, political, and cultural aspects of these countries. The Atlantic slave trade network brought hundreds of thousands of Africans to Latin America to labor in the plantation economy. The African cultural legacy is particularly relevant to modern Brazil and the Gulf-Caribbean countries. And the process of racial mixture, or miscegenation, that occurred freely and consistently over the past 500 years of the region’s

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Costa Rica: A Global Studies Handbook
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Series Editor’s Foreword ix
  • Preface xiii
  • Acknowledgments xvii
  • Maps xix
  • Part One - Narrative Section 1
  • Chapter One - Geography and History 3
  • Chapter Two - The Costa Rican Economy 93
  • Chapter Three - Politics and Institutions 169
  • Chapter Four - Society and Culture 227
  • Part Two - Reference Section 293
  • Key Events in Costa Rican History 295
  • Significant People, Institutions, Places, and Events 303
  • Costa Rican Language, Food, and Etiquette 321
  • Costa Rica–Related Organizations 333
  • Annotated Bibliography of Recommended Works on Costa Rica 345
  • Index 355
  • About the Authors 367
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