History of Costa Rica
The first Indian peoples probably immigrated to Costa Rica around 10,000 BC. The peoples remained scattered and suffered not a little from the chiefs, who were constantly fighting each other. The Chorotega settled here in the 6th century. Until the 9th century, the ethnic groups came into contact with the seafarers, which strongly influenced their own culture. The first European to come to Costa Rica was Christopher Columbus in 1502. The Spaniards tried to establish a colony in the country in 1506. They enslaved the indigenous people and the diseases they brought with them caused their numbers to drop drastically.
In 1562 Vasquez de Coronado became the governor of Costa Rica and named the later Cartago (then El Guarco) the first capital. He distributed land to his soldiers who forced the locals to work. The majority of these locals died from the diseases they brought with them, so the settlers had to work themselves. The country was becoming increasingly impoverished. Agriculture was most important in Costa Rica in the mid-18th century. The population grew and new cities were built. In 1821, Central America’s independence was announced in Costa Rica and a provisional government was established. In 1824 the first president was elected, Juan Mora Fernandez. In 1839 the Central American Federation dissolved. During that time the demand for coffee grew and Costa Rica became one of the most important exporters. The political scene was soon dominated by the coffee barons.
Civil war broke out in Costa Rica in 1948, and José Mora Fernandez took power with the PLN party after the war. The recession started. The war in Managua plunged Central America into a deep crisis. In Costa Rica, the anti-Scandinavian movement of the so-called Contras was founded by refugees. Costa Rica was dependent on economic aid from the USA, which in turn wanted the Contras to have a free run. They were only driven out by the new President Oscar Arias Sanchez, who came to power in 1986. Today the number of tourists is increasing and the country can look forward to a positive image.