Costa Rica Center
Welcome to the Costa Rica Center
Costa Rica is a small Central American country located ten degrees north of the equator. At its
narrowest point from East to West, there are just 75 miles separating the Caribbean from the
Pacific Ocean. This means that it is possible to watch the sun rise over the Atlantic Ocean, and
then catch an early bus to arrive in time for the sunset on the Pacific coast. The land mass of the
country is 20,000 square miles - about the size of West Virginia, and although it comprises
0.03% of the world's surface, it contains 4% of the planet's expected biodiversity. Costa Rica is
an ecological microcosm of the rest of Latin America, with lush jungles, high mountains and
The population of Costa Rica is roughly 4 million, about 90% of which are a mix of Spanish and
Indigenous - or Mestizo. There is also a Black population of Jamaican descent, as well as about
3,000 indigenous people living on land set aside by the government. There are now as many
North American retirees here as there are indigenous people, and in recent years Costa Rica has
become a haven for political and economic refugees from other Latin American countries.
In addition to the hospitable climate, students find that Ticos, as the local people are known, the
Center’s faculty and staff, and the homestay families are equally as warm. At the Costa Rica
Center, students have the opportunity to live among and study the interweaving factors that make
up the reality that is Central America today. Costa Rica is an ideal location as a departure point
for the rest of the region since it shares many of the characteristics common to other Latin
American countries while offering an interesting comparison.
The LIU Global Costa Rica Center is located in Heredia City, a block and a half away from the
Central Park. Heredia, named after a Spanish Captain in 1763, is 10 miles north of San José,
Costa Rica’s capital city.
The Center’s facilities include an administrative area, computer room, a small library, a front
garden, a backyard, a kitchen, a large room for community meetings, and rooms for seminars,
Spanish language courses and academic advising.
The Center has four computers connected to the internet for student use. Students can also
access the center’s wireless Internet on their laptops. Students also have access to a multimedia
projector for their presentations and projects.