Peace and prosperity
Costa Rica nowadays is known for its open-mindedness, together with a great outlook on equality and laid-back living. In the 1940s the country completely disbanded its military, although a coastguard service remains active today.
The echoes of Spanish colonialism live on in the architecture of both the towns and the countryside farmhouses, while the chronicles of ancient civilisations are felt in the mysterious relics left behind from days gone by.
The most notable of ancient artefacts to be found in Costa Rica these days are what the locals call ‘Las Bolas’ – big stone spheres resting on plinths. They’re dotted across the country, left behind by the Diquis people, and come in a range of sizes, from a few inches to nearly two metres high.
How these stone spheres came to be, why they’re located where they are and what they meant to the lost civilisations of old has been forgotten to the passage of time. Although, many scientists believe they decorated the roads that led to the dwellings of tribal chieftains.
Las Bolas are a national symbol of Costa Rica, but another recognised object of heritage are Las Carretas, or the ox-carts. In the days when Costa Rica was only beginning to farm the land, those ox-carts were the only way of ferrying goods from inland to the sea for trade. Costa Ricans remember the contribution those strong beasts and their big wooden carts made to the lifestyle they enjoy today, and colourfully decorated Carretas are scattered throughout the land.