Does CR have a democratic government?
Yes. Costa Rica has a democratically elected government with an executive branch, a legislative congress, an independent judiciary and no military. The Republic of Costa Rica has a strong system of constitutional checks and balances. Oscar Arías, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, is the current President of the Republic. In October 2007, in a public referendum, the people of Costa Rica voted to join CAFTA, the Central American Free Trade Agreement.
How is Costa Rica's economy?
Costa Rica has a healthy, robust economy for a small country of 4 million people. Technology and eco-tourism are the twin pillars of Costa Rica's economy. Microsoft, Motorola, Intel and other technology related firms have established operations in Costa Rica. Tourism is growing at an accelerated pace. Reflecting its commitment to the environment and eco-tourism, the country has set aside 25% of its land as protected national preserve, one of the highest proportions in the world. Bananas, pineapples and coffee are important contributors to Costa Rica's export income. Land ownership and wealth is widespread and the population enjoys a relatively high standard of living. Among Central American countries, Costa Rica has the largest middle class and is the most politically stable.
An excellent source of information is the web page maintained by The US Department of State: http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/2019.htm
For an interesting comparison of Fast Facts between life in the US and life in Costa Rica, visit http://www.lonelyplanet.com/costa-rica
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