Image via Wikipedia The Old and the New World met in Costa Rica when Christopher Columbus landed here in 1502. In the years that followed, the largest city in Central America was Guatemala City. Costa Rica was so far from this city that it was difficult to develop trade routes. But there was an upside to this. Because Costa Rica was so far removed from the center of Spanish activity, it was allowed to develop without supervision from the The Crown. This was a blessing in disguise. Isolation meant the Spanish did not enslave the people to work on their land. Although the Costa Rican people were separated from the “big money” in Guatemala City, it certainly did not hurt them.
Today Costa Rica is no longer isolated, but sought after as a vacation land and a permanent home to people from all over the world. Those years of isolation did not hurt the people either. Few countries are as well known for their “nice people” as Costa Rica. While Costa Rica was considered by the Spanish as one of the poorest places in Central America, today it has one of the most stable economies in Latin America. The Conquistadors left Costa Rica alone, and Costa Rica certainly made the best of it.