Costa Rica

My trip to Costa Rica was an intensive 10 day journey that included a number of activities like Zip-lining, Horseback Riding, and White Water Rafting. Our group from Poolesville High School experienced an awesome jaunt through some of Costa Rica's best National Parks. I saw more species of animals, plants, and reptiles here, then I had ever seen in any one place. The only place that I saw more species of birds was in the Amazon. Though Costa Rica is a relatively poor nation economically, it is truly one of the worlds most advanced nations ecologically. I would love to return in the future to see more of this fascinating country.  

When the Columbus arrived in Costa Rica in 1501, he found a place wedged between two cultures. The Incas controlled Andean South America, while Mesoamerican cultures, including the Aztecs, dominated areas to the north. When the Spanish took over, they called the area Costa Rica, which means Rich Coast. In 1821, Costa Rica joined in the general movement for independence in the area, and became one of the United Provinces of Central America, along with Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua. In 1824 they moved the capital to San Jose. In 1840, The United Provinces dissolved due to border disputes. In 1856, Costa Rica was invaded by William Walker, an American with a private army who wanted to create a new American state. Walker was unhappy with the anti-slavery movement in the US at the time. He’d already taken Nicaragua and reintroduced slavery there. The Costa Rican army ran him out of Costa Rica and Nicaragua turning him over to the British Navy, who handed him over to the Honduran government, where he was executed. In 1889, Costa Rica became a democracy. This lasted until 1917, when the elected President seized control of the country in a coup that lasted only a short period of time. Free elections were returned to the people in 1918. Costa Rica abolished their army after a short civil war in 1948 and recently, they have made a significant investment in eco-tourism, which drives their economy.

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Costa Rica Travel Group 2006

A Three Towed Sloth mistakes a sign post for a Tree near Manuel Antonio National Park

Drinking Coconut Water in Quepos Beach

Horseback Riding near Puntarenas

Getting ready to White Water Raft near Sarapiqui