【From Costa Rica】Educational conditions and Popular Games


Located in southern Central America, facing the Pacific Ocean to the south and the Caribbean Sea to the north, the Republic of Costa Rica is a peace-loving country with no military force, which is rare in the world. Costa Rica is a country that focuses on environmental protection and is rich in nature, with many precious animals and plants to be found in a small country about one-seventh the size of Japan, and is often referred to as “the paradise of Central America.
In this issue, we will take a look at the educational conditions and popular games for children in the Republic of Costa Rica, which once ranked first in terms of happiness.


Educational conditions in Costa Rica

Under the Constitution of 1949, Costa Rica abolished its army and chose to use its military budget for education instead. The education system consists of 2 years of preschool education, 6 years of elementary education, 5 years of secondary education, and higher education, which is equivalent to a university. 13 years of education are compulsory, from 2 years of pre-school education to the completion of secondary education. Education at national and public educational institutions is free of charge, even higher education.
Elementary schools are open at night to give all children the opportunity to learn, and the rate of education is said to be the highest in Central America.
The government’s policy of preserving peace through education has led children to learn about the Constitution and peace by the time they graduate from elementary school, and they are taught the three peace principles of “peace with oneself,” “peace with others,” and “peace with nature,” thus maintaining peace in the country.

Costa Rica’s Natural Environment

Costa Rica is famous for being an “environmentally advanced country,” and more than one-fourth of its land is designated as national parks and nature reserves. The shortest distance from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean is 119 km, and the country has a long and narrow geography with a mountain range in the center, which is blessed with nature of mountains and sea.
In order to protect the rich environment, children are taught to respect the environment, and recycling of recyclable waste is thoroughly enforced at schools, and environmental protection slogans such as “Plant Trees, Protect Rivers” are posted throughout school buildings.

Popular Children’s Games in Costa Rica

School starts early, around 7:30 a.m., and students go home early, around 3-4 p.m., even in secondary school.
Soccer is by far the most popular sport in Latin American countries in general, and Costa Rica has made a name for itself as a soccer powerhouse. Costa Rica is also home to world-famous surfing spots, and surfing is also popular and many children practice on a daily basis.
Some popular children’s games include:
– Oba: Children hit a ball against the wall and gesture before catching the ball when it comes back
– Jases: Children bounce the ball vigorously and move pieces before it falls (like Jacks in the US)
– Chromo: Children try to turn over a picture card in their hand using the pressure of the wind
Many children also have smartphones and enjoy using social media (Facebook, Twitter). They also enjoy reading and watching Japanese anime and doing cosplay.

In this article, we covered Costa Rica’s educational situation and introduced some popular games played by children in the country. With its emphasis on peace and education, it is a great environment to raise children.
Learning about other countries and their customs helps broaden children’s perspective. Since it is difficult to travel around the world with your child, parents should consider sending their child to an international preschool where they will meet teachers and students from different nationalities.