After his victory in the Costa Rican civil war of 1948, President Jose Figueres Ferrer abolished the military of Costa Rica. The budget that was previously dedicated to the military was now used for security, education and culture. Costa Rica maintains a police force that is capable of law enforcement and foreign peacekeeping, but has no permanent standing army. Unlike its neighboring countries, Costa Rica has not endured a civil war since then and has been a haven of peace and stability in Central America. Former president Oscar Arias Sanchez received the Noble Peace price for his efforts to end the civil war in Central America in 1987.
Together with the creation of the National Park System that currently protects more than 25% of the country’s total landmass, the abolishment of the army has been seen by experts as one of the most important factors for a successful tourism development. Today Costa Rica receives over 2 Mio visitors from abroad every year.
Costa Rica continues to fight for peace by having introduced the Arms Trade Treaty that was approved by the United Nations last April. However, only very few countries have signed the treaty and it is expected that many arms producing countries in Europe as well as Russia and the United States are not expected to sign the pact as there is too much at stake for their economies and the multi-billion dollar business of arms manufacturing. We still have a long way to go”¦
We love living and operating hotels and lodges in a country where there are no military vehicles and no soldiers in uniform are visual in public life. Some people might think it is naÃ¯ve not to have an army, but then again, it is also important to show that things can be done differently. When you come to Costa Rica, you can feel the love for peace by the Costa Ricans. For us, this is an important part of sustainability. Our guides at the Cayuga Collection Hotels and Lodges will be more than happy to give you more information on this topic.
Happy December and Happy Holidays.