Costa Rica’s exceptionalism goes much further than its natural wonders. Known as the Switzerland of Central America, it has achieved global recognition as one of the most unique countries in world because it did not follow the norm, it made very smart decisions in many areas of government and social initiatives that were forward thinking.
Costa Rica has always sought exceptionalism and this mindset has earned the country exceptional standing in many areas. Costa Rica combined the governmental ministries of energy and environment of into a single entity, now 90% of the country energy in renewable, it is one of the world’s top eco-destinations and has approximately 30% of its land mass protected in national parks and bio reserves.
As a global leader in sustainable energy and as a premier eco destination, Costa Rica has set a national goal to be the first carbon neutral country in the world 2021. This year, 2013, Costa Rica opened a one-of-a-kind environmental bank, BANCO2, to trade and verify carbon credits.
Sweeping changes to property rights, real estate title ship, and foreign investment regulations beginning in the 1980’s has made Costa Rica the leading retirement destination in Central America and frequently listed in the top ten retirement and relocation destinations globally. Costa Rica burst onto the international real estate stage in the early 2000’s after opening its second international airport which essentially triggered one of the biggest growth spurts in Central America. Costa Rica has now recently announced the opening of yet another international airport in the southern zone in 2014 with many industry experts seeing another real estate boom on the horizon.
Constitutionally disbanding it standing army in the late forties and redirecting this money into its national health and education systems as well as establishing a nationally owned banking system, resulted in the creation of the largest middle class in Central America and from a per capita perspective in all Latin America. Also as a result of these decisions, it has the highest literacy rate in the region as well as the lowest infant mortality rate.
Throughout the developed world, governments are trying to establish new norms to delay the retirement age in order to safeguard their pension schemes. The governments of North America want workers to continue being productive in the system to older ages. Furthermore, these governments face the prospect of paying the 70+ million retiring baby boomers their pensions with diminished reserves.
In Costa Rica, the health system and the longevity of people is comparable with that of any developed world nation, but MPs here are determined to find ways to shorten retirement age up to five years, while rich countries are feverishly working to reform laws to keep people in the workforce.
Costa Rica truly stands out as an exceptional example for sustainable energy, eco-travel and a model Latin America society.
The Costa Rica News (TCRN)
San Jose Costa Rica