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“The Costa Ricans” by Biesanz, Biesanz & Biesanz.

Read all the books you want about Costa Rica and you still won’t find the insights that this excellent book will yield to interested persons. “Costa Ricans are different” as nobody will disagree – if you have an interest in why, you must get this book.

It covers the land and people, community (a fascinating inside view), class and race, education and a great deal more.  There is a detailed bibliography that will interest serious readers. Written in the early 1980’s the book could do with an update but in it’s current condition is readable, enlightening and a very valuable addition to the gringo’s bookshelf in Costa Rica.

“The Costa Rica Reader” by Marc Edelman and Joanne Kene

One of the best books to read before coming to Costa Rica.  Find out what makes Costa Rica and Costa Ricans what they are. Read about their history and evolution.

AND OF COURSE you may want to learn a few useful words to communicate with these wonderful people…Christopher Howard has published the Official Guide to Costa Rican Spanish