The Costa Rica News (TCRN) – Costa Rica recently replaced Mexico as the Latin American country that is home to the most American students.

According to data from the Institute of International Education (IIE), during the period 2011-2012, the country received 7,900 compared to 3,815 youth who went to Mexico in that period.

The most surprising fact is that the country of mariachi and tequila ranked first in the last decade (with about 9,000 students throughout its territory), but violence-or the perception of violence-caused students change their fate, said Allan Goodman, president of the Institute, to the Associated Press.

IEI promotes educational access and keeps track of the number of American students traveling to Latin America and vice versa.

Behind Costa Rica is Argentina (4,763) and Brazil (4,060) with Mexico in fourth place.

Goodman says the growth of Costa Rica is explained by its marketing, thanks to its well-earned reputation as an ideal destination to study environmental issues. “But there are also many Costa Ricans traveling to the United States to study and promote their nation for student exchanges,” he said.

The Costa Rica News (TCRN)

San Jose, Costa Rica