Lesson 49: Costa Rica (Level 2+)

Costa Rica, in Central America, is known for not having an army. In Spanish, costa rica means “rich coast”. With the Pacific Ocean on the west and the Caribbean on the east, Costa Rica is a country in which people coexist with nature. It is also famous for producing coffee beans and bananas.

Costa Rica is about 51,000 square kilometres (19,000 square miles) in area. Approximately, one-fourth of it has been designated as national park land and natural reserves, and its scenic beauty is highly acclaimed. There is even a Costa Rican folk song that says that a saint descended from heaven, and found the land so beautiful that she decided not to return to her celestial home.

Costa Rica spends about twenty percent of its budget on education. In 1949, Costa Rica abolished its military. Investing in education over arms, the country transformed all its soldiers’ barracks into schools, and has become one of the world’s most advanced nations in promoting peace. The United Nations University for Peace is located there.

The people of Costa Rica are proud of living in harmony with nature and for choosing education, an expression of trust in humanity, as their top priority.

(Excerpts from Dr. Daisaku Ikeda’s writings for Children, Jan 2017)

A) Vocabulary – Please make your own sentences with these words. Your sentences should show that you understand the meaning of the words.

Coexist – to exist side by side, peacefully
Designate – to mark, or to name, or to select
Acclaim – to praise or to welcome
Descend – to go down or climb down from a higher place
Celestial – of heaven or the sky
Abolish – to put an end to a custom or a law
Barracks – building in which soldiers live

B) Discussion points:

  1. Let’s find Costa Rica on the world map. Name some of the countries near it.
  2. Talk about three striking facts about Costa Rica.
  3. Please write a few lines about your imaginary trip to Costa Rica, or to any other place in India or in the world.
    Name the city/state/or country you would like to visit.
    What would you see there?
    What would the people be like?
    What language would you need to learn to talk to the people there?