Costa Rica, officially the Republic of Costa Rica, is a country in Central America, bordered by Nicaragua to the north, Panama to the southeast, the Pacific Ocean to the west, and the Caribbean Sea to the east.
Costa Ricans, as people in other countries, are caught between old cultural forces and new ones that influence especially its young inhabitants. Ticos as a whole still respect conservative values, but they’re starting to adopt several American cultural traits. Even then, Costa Ricans still possess a unique identity that distinguishes them from other places and even from their neighboring countries.
Ticos are pretty homogeneous racially and culturally speaking, since only 1% of their population is considered to be Indian, and the other Black and Chinese minorities aren’t very numerous. A traveler going through Latin America will notice the Ticos’s relative “whiteness” when compared to the people of other places. Ticos also have a very high level of education, and the literacy rate is 96%. Thus, Costa Ricans define themselves as unique and different from their neighboring countries.
Costa Ricans are still conservative when it comes to family issues. Even though the amount of single-mother families is extremely high, family ties are still very strong even in these types of households. Traditions revolve around the family from the moment of birth to that of death. Some immensely important family traditions are: baptisms, first communions, engagement parties, weddings and funerals. These events are attended by the extended family as well as by a large quantity of friends and their family members. Also, most Costa Ricans still live at home until they are married, and leaving the household to go to college or to gain independence is still very rare.
Traditions are also shaped by gender differences and the “machismo” system. Men and women are expected to act differently from each other, and to respect their roles. A large proportion of Costa Rican women are professionals and hold important positions in both businesses and the government, but they still retain some traits that are traditional and conservative.
Read more at http://www.costarica.net/features/culture.htm