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Costa Rica


History of Jewish immigration

The first Jews that arrived in Costa Rica were converts, who arrived in the sixteenth or seventeenth century.
In the nineteenth century Sephardic traders arrived in Curacao , Jamaica, Panama and the Caribbean. They lived mostly in the central valley of Costa Rica and soon assimilated into society and left Judaism altogether.

A third group of Jewish immigrants arrived before the Second World War and especially in the 30s . Most of these immigrants came from the Polish town of Żelechˇw.

The first synagogue in the country, "Orthodox Shaarei Zion " was built in 1933 in the capital San JosÚ and in 1934 and the Israeli Zionist Center of Costa Rica was founded as a communal entity.
Most members of the Jewish community settled primarily in the Paseo Colˇn and La Sabana.

It recently started a fourth stage of Jewish immigration , mainly from American or Israeli Jews who retire or are doing business in the country.
The Costa Rican Jewish community consists of 2,500 or 3,000 individuals, most of them lives in the capital.

A little about the country

Costa Rica is a country beside the Caribbean Sea, and the Pacific Ocean.
Its population is 4,509,290 inhabitants (June 2009).

Its capital, political and economic center is San Jose.
The official language is Spanish .

Costa Rica is one of the most consolidated democracies in Latinamerica.

According to the New Economics Foundation, Costa Rica ranks first in the Happy Planet Index (HPI ) and is the " greenest" country in the world.

The territorial division of Costa Rica has seven provinces subdivided into 81 cantons, and these , in turn , in 463 districts.

Costa Rica is a very mountainous country and most of the territory is formed by elevations between 900 and 1800 meters above sea level. Ecotourism is extremely popular among foreign tourists, visiting the extensive national parks and protected areas exist throughout the country.

The currency is the Costa Rican Colon .