On December 1st, 1948, Costa Rica became part of a list that currently includes only twenty one nations world-wide, and that fact is a point of pride for many here and abroad.
It was under the presidency of José Figueres Ferrer that Costa Rica enacted a constitutional amendment in 1949 towards the development of a more humane system and policy. As the United States, China, the United Kingdom, France and the Russian Federation take lead of the nuclear club, Costa Rica stands adamantly on the other side of the spectrum. Most Costa Rican citizens have never seen a war plane or tank on their land, nor have they watched a submarine or battle-ship intermingling with the Orcas and Humpbacks of Ballena Bahía.
The land of Costa Rica is preserved for its people and its more than 500,000 species of which it is in a list of only twenty other nations in the world. Costa Rica and these twenty other nations represent the countries with the most biodiversity on the planet. Costa Rica seeks to protect the land and its people, but it does so in a very different way from many other nations. Currently, twenty seven percent of the country is protected under the status of national park, wildlife refuge and the like.
These vested interests in maintaining biodiversity and the preservation of flora and fauna are making returns on the investment by the people and government of Costa Rica. The vested interests in universal education and universal health care are correspondingly contributing to the betterment of the society of Costa Rica. Putting government funds towards a better infrastructure for conservation, education and health care is not only practical, it’s rewarding.
Where Costa Rica frequently tops the list of the Happy Planet Index as being the “Happiest Country” in the world, some of the more developed nations and economies fall far down on the register. This country often rates highest among the Central American nations for Human Development, as well. Capital punishment was abolished in 1877, the first nature reserve (Cabo Blanco Absolute Nature Reserve) was established in 1963 and on this day in 1948 Costa Rica made a pledge to its people and the world that it would seek more fruitful ventures than the maintenance of a warring faction.
Costa Rica has much to be proud of on this day of celebration, as it stands up among the nations for the ideals which the greatest thinkers, orators and advocates have promoted since time in memorial.