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During the twentieth century, the definition of "whiteness" became more inclusive, as elites sought to convince mestizos that they were part of a "homogeneous" nation distinct from the "Indians" elsewhere in Central America.In Guanacaste and northern Puntarenas, much of the population is descended from Indians and colonial-era slaves.Costa Rica has a level of biodiversity—4 to 7 percent of the world total—unmatched by any other nation its size. In 2000, Costa Rica's population was four million, with 60 percent living in the Central Valley in and around Cartago, San José, Heredia, and Alajuela.Thirty-two percent of the population was 14 years old or under, while 5 percent was 65 or older. The country had 21.9 births and 4.0 deaths per 1,000 population in 2000, and a net migration rate of 2.4.Despite the influential Catholic Church's opposition to contraception, in 1990, 86 percent of sexually active women of childbearing age used birth control. Spanish is the official language, but the variant spoken has features particular to Costa Rica.On the Atlantic coast, however, descendants of Caribbean immigrants speak English, as do many others throughout the country who learned it to better their employment prospects. The national flag, a partial imitation of the French tricolor, consists of blue horizontal stripes on the top and bottom of the flag and two white inner stripes divided by a wide red stripe, which contains the national coat of arms to the left of center.The main hero of the campaign against the United States filibusters, martyred drummer boy Juan Santamaría, was "discovered" as a national icon decades after the conflict ended.

Concentrated in Limón Province, Afro-Costa Ricans—the descendants of Jamaican and other British West Indians who immigrated in the nineteenth century for work on the Atlantic Railroad, plantations, and docks—are more widely perceived as "black." (These Afro-Costa Ricans are part of an English-speaking Protestant group extending along the entire Caribbean coast of Central America.) Blacks—denied Costa Rican nationality until 1948—were blocked by law and discrimination from working elsewhere, so Limón remained culturally distinct until the mid-twentieth century.Aside from the flag and religious icons, important symbols include flags of the major political parties (green and white for the National Liberation Party; red and blue for the Social Christians) and of the most popular soccer teams. Costa Rica gained independence from Spain as part of the Mexican Empire (1821–1823) and the Central American Federation (1823–1838).In 1824 it annexed much of the province of Guanacaste from Nicaragua. In 1502, Columbus stopped near present-day Limón, Costa Rica. [with] gold and mines." Subsequent chroniclers called the region "Costa Rica"—Rich Coast—although it turned out to be among the poorest of Spain's colonies.Natives with "golden mirrors around their necks" told of "many places . Costa Ricans are called ticos, which derives from their appending the Spanish -ico diminutive to the standard -ito. Costa Rica is located in Central America with Nicaragua to its north and Panama to its south.

Concentrated in Limón Province, Afro-Costa Ricans—the descendants of Jamaican and other British West Indians who immigrated in the nineteenth century for work on the Atlantic Railroad, plantations, and docks—are more widely perceived as "black." (These Afro-Costa Ricans are part of an English-speaking Protestant group extending along the entire Caribbean coast of Central America.) Blacks—denied Costa Rican nationality until 1948—were blocked by law and discrimination from working elsewhere, so Limón remained culturally distinct until the mid-twentieth century.Aside from the flag and religious icons, important symbols include flags of the major political parties (green and white for the National Liberation Party; red and blue for the Social Christians) and of the most popular soccer teams. Costa Rica gained independence from Spain as part of the Mexican Empire (1821–1823) and the Central American Federation (1823–1838).In 1824 it annexed much of the province of Guanacaste from Nicaragua. In 1502, Columbus stopped near present-day Limón, Costa Rica. [with] gold and mines." Subsequent chroniclers called the region "Costa Rica"—Rich Coast—although it turned out to be among the poorest of Spain's colonies.Natives with "golden mirrors around their necks" told of "many places . Costa Ricans are called ticos, which derives from their appending the Spanish -ico diminutive to the standard -ito. Costa Rica is located in Central America with Nicaragua to its north and Panama to its south.The northern Pacific suffers frequent droughts, associated with the Niño phenomenon. Pacific ports include Puntarenas, Quepos, and Golfito.