Costa Rica: Los Ticos

By: Guadalupe Muñoa

Difficult, but not impossible!

The “Ticos” will participate in their sixth World Cup this year as they were the very last national team to qualify after beating New Zealand in a playoff. They head to Qatar with lots of optimism and a deep desire to seize victory. They’re part of group E this time, with Spain, Germany, and Japan. Highlighting their 36-year-old goalkeeper Keylor Navas, it’s a team full of experience that dreams of making history. The “golden generation” will be challenged with surviving this year’s “group of death”, a task that they’re no stranger to; just as they shocked the world in Brazil 2014, now they want to do the same in Qatar 2022. ¡Pura Vida!

Costa Rica is rich in both natural and cultural biodiversity and is often called the land of “pure life”. It’s a mixed, multiethnic, multilingual, and multicultural country. Costa Ricans are hospitable and hardworking, dedicated to the harvest of various crops, but their coffee is the basis of the nation’s economy. A set of cultural elements help define the nation: one of them is the wagon as an important means of transportation in its history. In fact, its prominence has led to contests where they’re decorated with colors, flowers, and landscapes.Their typical dances are the Punto Guanasteco and the Tambito, performed in outfits adorned in the white, red, and blue colors of the flag. Such spectacles are accompanied by some favorite musical instruments: the marimba, the quijongo, and the guitar.

Among Costa Rica’s natural beauties are the coasts of Puerto Viejo with tropical flora and fauna. The country is even home to some near-extinct species’ protection sites, including the Tortuguero (host to green, hawksbin, and leatherback sea turtles); the Arenal with its thermal waters, the National Park of Cahuita with its coral reef, the Poás, Irazú and Tumlalba Volcanoes with their mountainous areas, and the famous World Heritage Site of Cocos Island.

Many religions are practiced in Costa Rica as a result of the diversity of cultures and ethnicities that have come together in the country. The official religion is Catholic, forming 76.3% of the population, but other religions practiced include various denominations of Evangelical Christianity, the Baha’i Faith, Buddhism, Hare Krishna, Hinduism, Islam, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Judaism, Seventh Day Adventists, Taoism, and also indigenous beliefs held by some native Costa Ricans.

Let’s give thanks for the land of the Ticos! It not only is known for its abundant flora and fauna but is also an example of hospitality to people of all nations, boasting of harmonious living between various religious groups and organizations. Pray that our evangelical brothers and sisters may continue to walk in unity, bringing the good news and reaching out to others in the name of Christ. Let’s also pray for the government authorities — that God may continue to give wisdom for the common good of the Costa Rican population.

Resources consulted:

Team photo:

Credit: Noushad Thekkayil

Cultural photo:

Credit: Carmen Murillo

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