List of resources for Costa Rica

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Following is a list of websites for additional information about the Peace Corps and Costa Rica and to connect you to returned Volunteers and other invitees. Please keep in mind that although we try to make sure all these links are active and current, we cannot guarantee it. If you do not have access to the Internet, visit your local library. Libraries offer free Internet usage and often let you print information to take home.

A note of caution: As you surf the Internet, be aware that you may find bulletin boards and chat rooms in which people are free to express opinions about the Peace Corps based on their own experiences, including comments by those who were unhappy with their choice to serve in the Peace Corps. These opinions are not those of the Peace Corps or the U.S. government, and we hope you will keep in mind that no two people experience their service in the same way.

General Information About Costa Rica
On this site, you can learn anything from what time it is in San José to how to convert from the dollar to the colón. Just click on Costa Rica and go from there.
Visit this site for general travel advice about almost any country in the world.
The U.S. State Department’s website issues background notes periodically about countries around the world. Find Costa Rica and learn more about its social and political history.
This site includes links to all the official sites for governments worldwide.
This online world atlas includes maps and geographical information, and each country page contains links to other sites, such as the Library of Congress, that contain comprehensive historical, social, and political background.
This United Nations site allows you to search for statistical information for member states of the U.N.
This site provides an additional source of current and historical information about 228 countries.

Connect With Returned Volunteers and Other Invitees
This is the site of the National Peace Corps Association, made up of returned Volunteers. On this site you can find links to all the Web pages of the “friends of” groups for most countries of service, made up of former Volunteers who served in those countries. There are also regional groups who frequently get together for social events and local Volunteer activities.
This site is known as the Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Web Ring. Browse the Web ring and see what former Volunteers are saying about their service.
This site is hosted by a group of returned Volunteer writers. It is a monthly online publication of essays and Volunteer accounts of their Peace Corps service.

Online Articles/Current News Sites About Costa Rica
Online edition of the Tico Times, an English-language weekly
Online edition of La Nación, a daily newspaper in Spanish
Online edition of La República, a daily newspaper in Spanish
A.M. Costa Rica, a daily English-language summary of Costa Rican news
El Seminario, a weekly (in Spanish) published by the University of Costa Rica
An annual analysis (in Spanish) of Costa Rica’s most recent socioeconomic and environmental indicators
The site of Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales, a social science research organization (in Spanish)

International Development Sites About Costa Rica
United Nations programs (e.g., UNDP, UNICEF, UNFPA, UNESCO) in Costa Rica
Organization of American States in Costa Rica
Inter-American Development Bank
Pan American Health Organization in Costa Rica
International Labour Organization in Costa Rica (in Spanish)

Recommended Books

  1. Booth, John. Costa Rica: Quest for Democracy.Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press, 1998.
  2. Daling, Tjabel. Costa Rica in Focus: A Guide to the People, Politics, and Culture. London: Latin America Bureau, 1998.
  3. Edelman, Marc, and Joanne Kenen (eds.). The Costa Rican Reader. New York: Grove Press, 1989.
  4. Lara, Silvia, et al. Inside Costa Rica: The Essential Guide to Its Politics, Economy, Society, and Environment. Silver City, N.M.: Interhemispheric Resource Center, 1995.
  5. Mavis, Hiltunen Biesanz, et al. The Ticos: Culture and Social Change in Costa Rica. Boulder, Colo.: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 1998.
  6. Molina, Iván, and Steven Palmer. The History of Costa Rica. San José, Costa Rica: Editorial de la Universidad de Costa Rica, 1998.
  7. Ras, Barbara, and Oscar Arias (eds.). Costa Rica: A Traveler’s Literary Companion. St. Paul, Minn.: Consortium Book Sales, 1994. Translations of 26 short stories by 20 of Costa Rica’s best authors.

Books About the Peace Corps

  1. Banerjee, Dillon. So You Want to Join the Peace Corps: What to Know Before You Go. Berkeley, Calif.: Ten Speed Press, 2000 (paperback).
  2. Herrera, Susana. Mango Elephants in the Sun: How Life in an African Village Let Me Be in My Skin. Boston: Shambhala Publications, 1999.
  3. Hessler, Peter. River Town: Two Years on the Yangtze. New York: Harper Perennial, 2001.
  4. Hoffman, Elizabeth Cobbs. All You Need Is Love: The Peace Corps and the Spirit of the 1960s. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2000 (paperback).
  5. Lucas, C. Payne and Kevin Lowther. Keeping Kennedy’s Promise: The Peace Corps’ Moment of Truth (2nd ed.). Peace Corps Online, 2002.
  6. Redmon, Coates. Come as You Are: The Peace Corps Story. Orlando, Fla.: Harcourt, 1986.
  7. Thomsen, Moritz. Living Poor: A Peace Corps Chronicle. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1969, 1997 (paperback).
  8. Tidwell, Mike. The Ponds of Kalambayi: An African Sojourn. Guilford, Conn.: The Lyons Press, 1990, 1996 (paperback).