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Costa Rica: A Mighty Voice From A Tiny Nation

Rodrigo Chaves, President of the Republic of Costa Rica, has highlighted the accelerated economic changes and potential for investment that his administration has brought to the country. These changes include investing in human capital and developing the necessary skill sets to compete on a global scale, rectifying mistakes of the past two decades and fortifying infrastructure, opening 5G frequencies, and becoming a leading technology hub for biomedical microchip products.

The government is also taking steps to address the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and other global crises, such as the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries’ production cutback and the immigration crisis. In addition, the government is expecting a GDP increase of 2.6 percent in 2023, and is actively negotiating a bilateral free trade agreement with Ecuador, as well as applying for membership in the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Costa Rica has also taken a leadership role in advocating for environmental sustainability, and is supporting regional integration through the Central American Integration System (SICA). The country is a popular destination for foreign direct investment due to its commitment to democracy, human rights, and environmental protection, and offers a range of investment opportunities, such as biotechnology, 5G networks and shared services, food processing, tourism, and environmental conservation.

Costa Rica Colon Hits a Low of 540 Against U.S. Dollar: What’s Next?

The Costa Rica Colon has seen a steady decline against the U.S. dollar, dropping 20% from 691 Colons to 540 Colons to the dollar. This has had a dramatic impact on the Costa Rican economy, with over 50% of those in the agricultural sector reporting layoffs. Exporters and those in the tourism industry are pleading for authorities to intervene to prevent further decline.

The precipitous drop has been attributed to a surplus of dollars in the country, as well as the Costa Rica Central Bank taking advantage of the lower exchange rate. The Bank recently dropped the Colon interest rate from 9% to 8.5% in an effort to combat inflation, with further reductions expected. While this may be a sign of the exchange rate slowing or reversing, it may take time for the surplus of dollars to decrease and for the rate to stabilize.

Costa Rica’s Rincon de la Vieja Volcano Erupted

This morning, the Volcanological and Seismological Observatory of Costa Rica (OVSICORI) reported that the Rincón de la Vieja volcano erupted twice, at 5:30 am and 5:48 am. OVSICORI shared photos and videos of the activity on its official social media accounts and stated that there was a steam cloud without high ash content, heading northeast. No ash fall was reported, nor lahars. The institution reminded the public to respect the security measures established in the area.

Rincon de la Vieja is a highly active volcano, with the most significant eruption in 1966 causing extensive damage to the surrounding area. More recently, eruptions occurred in 2011, 2017, and 2022. The most recent eruption began on March 5 and lasted for several hours. It produced a column of ash and gas that rose up to 2 km above the volcano’s summit and caused lahars that affected nearby rivers and closed several roads and bridges.

Due to its frequent activity, Rincon de la Vieja is closely monitored by Costa Rica’s National Seismological Network and authorities have implemented measures to protect the public.

Growing corn the natural way is easy in home

In Costa Rica, gardening is a breeze due to the favorable climate. Gardeners can plant and harvest corn twice a year, and some even three times. This month, the corn crop is being harvested, and from that harvest, seeds can be saved and replanted in September. Growing your own corn is easy and a great way to avoid the potential health risks associated with genetically modified corn. After clearing the area of weeds and grasses, small holes are dug and filled with aged compost fertilizer.

Three corn seeds are planted in each hole and in about a month, beans and squash can be planted in the same area. Watering the corn, beans, and squash with compost tea helps them grow strong and healthy. In the third month, the harvest of young corn, beans, and little squash is ready to enjoy.

5.4 Earthquake Shakes Costa Rica

This evening, Costa Rica experienced a strong earthquake that was detected by the Costa Rica Seismological Institute (OVUSCORI). The fault line producing the event was located about 15 miles (25 kilometers) west of Quepos, on Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast and was about a mile (10Km) deep. The tremor occurred at 7:44 p.m. and reports from representatives in Quepos confirm that there have been no reports of damage or injuries at this time.

In 2012, a 7.6 magnitude earthquake occurred near Quepos, but the town was not severely impacted. Quepos and the surrounding area is located near the boundary of the Cocos Plate and the Caribbean Plate, which leads to frequent seismic activity in the region. Despite the high frequency of earthquakes, Quepos has made significant efforts to improve its emergency preparedness and building codes to reduce the impact of earthquakes.

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