About Costa Rica

About Costa Rica

Costa Rica packs a lot of diversity into a small country, from the pristine beaches of the Pacific Northwest to the lush jungles of the Caribbean, to the rolling mountains and cloud forests of the Cordillera.

Costa Rica is one of the oldest democracies in the Americas.  It is a country proud of its heritage and tradition of negotiation over confrontation, social development over military spending and tolerance over hostility.  It is the home to many international organizations such as the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, the University for Peace of the United Nations and the Earth Council.

Costa Rica’s literacy rate is 96%.

Since 1869, public education in Costa Rica is free and mandatory. The educational system is ranked 32nd in the world, the highest in Latin America, according to the World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Report 2008-2009. There are more than 9,300 educational institutions in Costa Rica, including more than 50 universities and over 200 private schools registered with the Ministry of Education. Most of them are bilingual, teaching in both Spanish and a foreign language (English, German, French or Hebrew), and offer worldwide recognized programs such as the Advanced Placement (AP) and the International Baccalaureate (IB). Seven of these schools provide international diplomas certified by organizations such as the SACS, NEASC and MSA.