By Ginger Juhl, Juhl Communications

Costa Rica, which literally translated means “rich coast”, is indeed rich in many important ways. It’s a highly enlightened, educated, culturally diverse and environmentally conscious country. Perhaps the most commonly uttered phrase in Costa Rica, pura vida, is what this country is all about – pure life – and the people of Costa Rica do more than pay lip service to this all-pervasive view of their world. Theirs is both a pure and rich way of living.

Costa Rica has been a democracy since 1889 and abandoned its military forces in 1949, thus diverting substantial resources to investment in health and education. This investment in public education has paid off handsomely, as Costa Rica’s population of 4.4 million people enjoys a literacy rate of 96%.

The country has consistently been among the top Latin American countries in the Human Development Index (IDI) and is rated fifth in the world – and first among the Americas – in the 2012 Yale University Environmental Performance Index. Moreover, in 2007, the Costa Rican government announced plans for Costa Rica to become the first carbon-neutral country by 2021.

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