Costa Rica History

Costa Rica History

According to Costa Rica history, the first human habitation in Costa Rica dated back to 10,000 years ago. Yet, despite this, Costa Rica was a relative backwater in the pre-Columbian era and was, in fact, only sparsely populated.

At a time when the more advanced civilizations of Mesoamerica to the North and the Andes to the South had erected impressive stone architectural structures, there was little sign of major communities, according to Costa Rica history.

On September 18, 1502, Columbus arrived at Lima. On this third and last voyage of his to the Americas, the annals of Costa Rica history indicated that there were only about 20,000 indigenous inhabitants in Costa Rica. These people segregated themselves into separate, autonomous tribes, each with distinct cultures and customs to distinguish themselves from the others.

The only major archaeological site is at Guayabo, located 30 miles east of San Jose. According to Costa Rica history, this was said to be a site of an ancient city, dating back to 1000 B.C. At its peak, the city has only a population of 10,000 people. Even so, the site, currently being excavated, has been able to yield many interesting gold, jade and pottery artifacts, which were all put on display in several museums in San Jose.

According to Costa Rica history, when Columbus came upon this ancient city, the Indians gave him gold, which he took with him to Europe, along with tales of the wondrously fascinating land and its plentiful supply of the yellow metal. However, when later adventurers arrived at its shores, they were only met by hostile Indians, swamps, and disease. It was also because of these that several early attempts to colonize the Atlantic Coast have also failed. Thus, for almost half a century, Costa Rica was passed over while colonization continued in countries to the north and south.

Then, in 1562, the Spanish Main administrative center in Guatemala sent Juan Vasqueze de Coronado to Costa Rica as governor. This was a turning in Costa Rica history as it marked the first relatively successful attempts at colonizing the country, with Cartago as its capital.

However, the fledgling colony had no Indian slaves to work the land, thus progress was slow. According to Costa Rica history, the country was virtually ignored by the Spanish rulers in Guatemala until the late 18th century when the settlements started exporting wheat and tobacco.

On September 15, 1821, Costa Rica history experienced another turning point. This was the date Central America gained its independence from Spain. However, the news of the event reached Costa Rica only a month after. At this point, a new question was raised – Will Costa Rica join the newly independent Mexico or join a new confederation of Central American states? In the end, Costa Rica joined the confederation and in 1824, Costa Rica elected its first president, Juan Mora Fernandez.