Coffee: The Pride of Ticos

At the end of the 18th century, coffee came to Costa Rica for the first time. It was also the first Central American country to develop this important crop. In those remote times, our country had subsistence agriculture, but with the arrival of coffee in these lands, the way of thinking of the Costa Ricans began to change.

The richness of Costa Rica lies in the cultural diversity of its people: coffee is a culture in itself with a tradition built day by day, with a gained value for the people who are dedicated to its cultivation.

Costa Rican coffee is the main engine of development for the national economy. It was from almost the birth of the country as an independent nation, that coffee cultivation in the mid-nineteenth century had social and cultural consequences.

Coffee has been very important for our country, which is why it has lent its identity to create symbols and stereotypes that are of great emblematic importance for Costa Ricans.

By the time of independence, in 1821 Costa Rica was the poorest and most backward population of the Spanish colonial empire. However, by the year 1830, the country showed progress and economic recovery due to the abundant profits from coffee exported to England. In this way, coffee was positioned as the first and only export product of the country at that time.

Today the coffee themes are one of the most represented motifs in the arts, crafts, folklore and popular culture of the Ticos.

Coffee for Costa Rica became a civilizing agent, the “grain of gold” for the prosperity that was obtained from it; it became a great economic and social advance that was strengthened with the process of idealization and construction of national identity.

And this is how it deserved the title of “grain of gold” since the profits that were obtained from it allowed the development of banking, the road that connects San Jose and Puntarenas, the construction of railways to the Pacific and the Atlantic, the emergence of hospital services and education among other advances.

Over time, a class of medium and small peasant farmers was formed in the territory of the central valley, occupying large areas for the cultivation of coffee, thus forming a social and political elite enriched by the cultivation of coffee. This oligarchy marked the political destinies of Costa Rica for many years.

The government introduced policies that were achieved in the coffee industry, including the granting of land for coffee plantings and the delivery of coffee plants to farmers interested in producing coffee.

In the 19th century, coffee was the main part of banknotes and coins in Costa Rica; in fact, its image is present in the national coat of arms. The folkloric literature captured the genotype of the peasant of the central valley with his jovial air, simple good-natured and somewhat naive.

National art and architecture had coffee as its main impulse. The National Theater of Costa Rica built in 1897 was mainly financed with taxes from the sale of coffee. It is considered a jewel and historical heritage of the nation, the decorations and works of art present in this building are allusive to this bonanza obtained by the magnificent export of grain.

Coffee arrived to make a myth-symbol of a successful past and the promise of an assured future. This is how the idea arises that in Costa Rica “the best coffee in the world” is produced

Stereotypes of Coffee in Costa Rica

The carts are an interpretative art; they are intimately linked to coffee, within the coffee culture in Costa Rica, and have a tradition that dates back more than three centuries.

Being a resource through which the past is idealized, coffee continues to be manifest in new forms of expression such as the cultivation of organic coffee, “ecological and in harmony with the environment”

The production of Gourmet coffee, the coffee tours that attract foreign tourists, the most diverse handicrafts associated with the cultivation of coffee: the coffee pot and the tin cup, the painted cart and its yokes of oxen loaded with coffee beans, the little houses of Abobe, the peasant woman with her colored petticoat, the baskets to collect the grain, the handkerchief, the machete and the peasant.

At present, although it is no longer the only export product that the country has, coffee remains positioned among the most valuable products of Costa Rica and is recognized worldwide for its high quality.

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Cuba qualifies to NORCECA U20 Semifinals

Cuba qualified to semifinals after beating Costa Rica 3-0 (25-22, 25-20, 25-21) at the Women’s NORCECA U20 Championship in Aguascalientes, Mexico.

Cuba joins United States and Dominican Republic in Friday’s semifinals, waiting for either Mexico or Puerto Rico. Costa Rica will face Guatemala in classification 5/8 round.

Cuban players lacked their usual energy, with a dull performance and struggling to move ahead in scores as they committed a variety of unforced errors the entire game. Costa Rica maintained their calm, executing their game plan well, surprising Cuba but still not taking unnecessary risks.

Cuba finished with a huge 40-27 margin in kills and 9-4 in blocks. Costa Rica held 7-6 advantage in aces. Cuba benefited scoring on 20 opponent errors while allowing 25.

Middle blockers Yamisleydis Viltres and Daima Del Rio led Cuba scoring 12 points apiece, wing spiker Ailama Cese added 10 points and setter Thalia Moreno chipped in with 9 points. Middle blocker Susan Alpizar scored 9 points for Costa Rica.

Middle blocker Daima Del Río of Cuba: “We lack attitude, yes we are happy because we are one step further in reaching our objective. We committed too many unforced errors and we really hope to do better tomorrow”.

Regla Torres head coach of Cuba: “I am not satisfied with today’s performance, I did not like it. My team and every Cuban team have better rhythm, a higher level, powerful and with better attitudes. My assistant Marta and I, as former players, can’t inject the girls the desire to execute everything we’ve prepared and practiced. We hope they will understand what’s needed. We are in semifinals but we must play differently”.

Andrés López head coach of Costa Rica: “I am glad despite our loss, but as a group, going back to my Federation, I reached my objective. Today my starters in every set were the tallest players and that helped us against Cuba’s strength over the net. I think that Cuba came in tired from their previous matches that were really tough and we worked them well with our strong serves. Central America doesn’t have this level, so when the match was really close, we miss 3 points, we recover, we even the score and our competitive level is not enough, neither physically nor mentally speaking, there’s nothing left to do. We don’t know how to solve. We could compete better if we had better preparation matches”.

Middle Blocker Susan Alpizar of Costa Rica: “This is our first experience, and playing against the best in the world excites us, we feel motivated because the result was good. I was pressured because I was afraid to commit errors, but our motivation was high and that helped the team, and our attitude was the best”.

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Cuba to play Costa Rica in Quarterfinals

Cuba defeated Puerto Rico 3-1 (25-20, 26-24, 20-25, 25-12) to finish second in pool A and will face Costa Rica in the NORCECA U20 Women’s Championship quarterfinals on Thursday.

Cuba is set to face Costa Rica and Puerto Rico waits for the loser between Mexico and Dominican Republic to complete the quarterfinal round.

There was a rain delay in the first set, with Cuba recovering from a 13-16 deficit blocking Puerto Rico’s spikers. Cuba controlled set two on serves for a huge 12-6 advantage but Puerto Rico was inspired and extended the set to a thriller Cuban win. Puerto Rico rallied past Cuba 14- 9 winning set three 25-20. Finally Cuba decided to grab full control finishing in four. Cuba’s and Puerto Rico’s performance had many ups and downs.

Cuba dominated Puerto Rico with 47-27 huge advantage in kills and 13-9 margin in blocks. Puerto Rico owned the serves with 10-4 advantage. Cuba committed 35 unforced errors and Puerto Rico finished with 32.

Ailama Cese once again had a spectacular performance scoring 19 points on 16 kills and 3 blocks, to lead Cuba. Yamisleydis Viltres followed with 15 points on 8 kills, 4 blocks and 3 aces. Ariana Pagan was Puerto Rico’s leading scorer with 10 points.

Ailama Cese top scorer of Cuba: “It was important to win because our opponent in quarterfinals will be much easier to face. We are mentally and physically tired because of yesterday’s match against United States. We want to win every much from here on because our goal is to qualify to worlds. We were much more focused in set four because we didn’t want to wear out for our next performance by playing a fifth set”.

Regla Torres head coach of Cuba: “It was a bad performance, we came out short, we were over confident. I thing they thought – United States is tougher so if we faced them head to head, this would be a walk in the park- they are wrong, there is no small opponent. They need to learn that we have the obligation to face everyone with the same game level. We will continue playing the same; we need to change in form, in character, in attitude, in motivation. They must be motivated to perform”.

Paulina Pérez captain of Puerto Rico: “We had an excellent energy and attitude, we played well against Cuba, and we worked hard to win that third set. My team was confident, our serves were effective and we always scored when our passing was on the spot. I am very satisfied, despite the variations in our line-up”.

Rafael Olazagasti head coach of Puerto Rico: “I believe we could have won set two also, but that’s that. It’s not the same finish second than third in our pool because the crossover match will be tougher. Our lack of international experience is obvious; we aren’t able to win sets and that’s possible only when you play more. There is a great difference in our performance today compared to that against United States; playing every day improves our performance”.

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Cuba the dominant force at Pan American Judo Championships in Costa Rica

Cuba finished top of the medals table at the Pan American Judo Championships in Costa Rica with a total of 12 medals, including five golds.

A total of 227 athletes registered in individual competitions and 70 in the kata category in the first classification event in route to the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo - taking place at the Pedregal venue in San Antonio de Belen, Heredia, 10 kilometres north of San Jose.

Canada were second in the medals table with seven medals, three of them gold, with Brazil third on the same total but one fewer golds.

Osniel Solis, in the under-66 kilograms class, and Ivan Felipe Silva, in the under-90kg class, were the male gold medallists for Cuba, while three golds were provided in the women’s competition by Maylin del Toro at under-63kg, Kaliema Antomarchi at under-78kg and Idalys Ortiz oat over-78kg open class.

Canada’s golds came from Antoine Bouchard at under-73kg, Antoine Valois-Fortier at under-81kg and, in the women’s event, Christa Deguchi at under-57kg.

Diana Brenes won the only medal for the hosts, earning a bronze in the women’s under-78kg class.

"We are very happy, this is one of the four most important events in the continent and organising it in Costa Rica is a huge pride," Costa Rica Judo Federation President Dudley Lopez said.

The event offered competitors the chance to lay down an early marker prior to next year's International Judo Federation World Championships in the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic host city of Tokyo.

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Alicia Alonso to Receive Honorary Degree in Costa Rica

San Jose, Mar 22 (Prensa Latina) Cuban Prima Ballerina Assoluta Alicia Alonso received here today the Doctor Honoris Causa degree from the University of Costa Rica (UCR), for her important work and legacy to the world classical dance.

The University Council of the UCR, the highest entity of that high educational center, agreed on Thursday, March 16th, to grant the honorary degree to the famous 96-year-old dancer, who danced until the age of 70. She founded and directed the Cuban National Ballet, one of the most prestigious companies in the world.

At the proposal of the Faculty of Fine Arts, the University Council stated that Alicia Alonso's contribution to Cuban and world dance has allowed us to rethink this art from its cultural importance and its influence in the construction of the Latin American identity. This has generated an extraordinary impact and unique contributions that have been widely recognized worldwide.

The famous Cuban dancer also 'boosted and inspired the Cuban Ballet School, which is characterized by a new style and a new methodology within the classical dance. Thanks to her extraordinary pedagogical work, several generations of excellent dancers have arisen'.

Alicia arrived in San Jose on Monday, March 20th, and will be here until Sunday, March 26th, along with fifty members of the Cuban company. They will perform at the 'Melico Salazar' Popular Theater in San Jose on March 25th and 26th (double show).

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Quake Helped to Discover a New Geological Fault in Costa Rica

The analysis of the 5.5-magnitude earthquake occurred last November 30, in Capellades, enabled scientists Lepolt Linkimer and Gerardo J. Soto to discover a new geological fault in Costa Rica.

Linkimer explained that the fault lies between Turrialba and Irazu volcanoes, five kilometers away from each other, is about six kilometers long and located 45 kilometers southeast from the capital.

He also stated that the break of the earth's crust is exactly placed between Liebres farm and the headwaters of Toro Amarillo river.

The scientist of the National Seismological Network, belonging to the University of Costa Rica, said that the fault still had no name and added that they were generally named after the place where they were located.


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Hurricane Otto to Landfall in Nicaragua and Costa Rica

Meteorologists in the United States have warned that Otto is the strongest Atlantic hurricane this late in the season since 1934.

Hurricane Otto strengthened to a Category 2 hurricane on Thursday and is just hours away from making landfall near the border between Nicaragua and Costa Rica, with 105 mph winds carrying with it the dangers of flooding and mudslides.

RELATED: Otto Heads Toward Central America, Kills 3

According to civil protection agencies, thousands of people have been evacuated from their homes as the storm heads toward Central America. Otto has already caused heavy rains in Panama.

Nicaraguan Vice President Rosario Murillo said they have evacuated about 10,000 people to safeguard human life as they await the hurricane's imminent arrival. She added that authorities have arranged shelters in safe areas. 

Meteorologists in the United States have warned that Otto is the strongest Atlantic hurricane this late in the season since 1934.

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In Panama, nine people were trapped in a landslide on Tuesday; seven were rescued but two were pulled from the mud dead. A child in Panama City was also killed when a tree fell. 

An alert remains for the coast of Nicaragua north of Bluefields to Sandy Bay Sirpi, and for the coast of Costa Rica south of Limon to the Costa Rica-Panama border.

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Hurricane Otto Hits Costa Rica

San José, Nov 23 (Prensa Latina) Costa Rica today began to feel the increase in the influence of Hurricane Otto, which according to forecasts will hit the nation in the afternoon in a point near the border with Nicaragua.

The most recent official reports recorded more than 1,000 people compulsorily evacuated in localities on the Caribbean coast, about 1,200 affected homes in 148 communities due to the rains associated with the phenomenon and 32 disrupted roads.

Otto acquired a category of hurricane on Tuesday afternoon when it was about 370 kilometers off the Costa Rican coast (Puerto Limon) and moves west at less than 10 kilometers per hour.

The National Meteorological Institute predicted that Otto will land on the sector Barra del Colorado sector in the northern Caribbean of Costa Rica, bordering Nicaragua.

The Nicaraguan president, Luis Guillermo Solis, considered that this is a historical hurricane for being the first that touches directly the national territory.

Yesterday, the national authorities held yesterday contacts with their peers of Panama and Nicaragua to coordinate actions facing the damages that Otto will cause as it passes through the region.

On the other hand, the Costa Rican Football Federation cancelled matches on the second date of the Winter Tournament scheduled for tomorrow and Thursday, while important shopping centers moved the so-called Black Friday for the next week.

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