What are the major problems in Costa Rica?

With lush beautiful rainforest and an unforgiving rugged landscape, it is no secret that Costa Rica is famous because of its cultural and environmental diversity, however, you can still find problems in Costa Rica.

 Throughout history Latin and Central American countries have been under colonization and conflict, resulting in persistent issues of inequality, violence, and poverty are still in the 21st century.  Despite all these long-standing issues Costa Rica is a developing country and has always managed to turn a new leaf with a strong democratic government and a great social welfare system. 

The major problems in Costa Rica can be split into Poverty, Public Safety, Child Labor, Economic Inequality, Education, Internal Political Strife,  Health, rampant Child Abuse, and Trafficking.

Poverty 

The poverty level is one in four in Costa Rica. Children are the primary victims of poverty, in spite of the relatively low poverty rate in Costa Rica (16% of the population is adversely affected).

In a lot of cases, a failure to comply with the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) ends up in childhood poverty, which Costa Rica often fails to uphold. Consequently, due to this, some children don’t have access to water, a healthy diet, or education, among other things making it one of the major problems in Costa Rica.

Public Safety

It’s been a priority for Costa Rica to become one of the safest countries in Latin America for many years now. With increased international drug trafficking and criminality that goes along with it, especially violence, that feeling of security has declined over the past decade. However, a sense of growing insecurity has been reported despite homicide rates plummeting over the past two years and not improving in comparison with the Northern Triangle.

Child labor

The country of Costa Rica produces a great deal of coffee and known for using children to gather its husks. There are estimates that 5% of children aged 5 to 14 work in the economy

The situation is grave, especially given that the harvesting of coffee beans happens during the school vacation. Unless they wake up at 5 in the morning, the children will have no choice but to go to the plantation every day if they wish to purchase games, clothes, or school supplies.

 This economic activity harms the health of these children, which makes them more susceptible to respiratory illnesses, other illnesses, and injury.

Economic Inequality

A few years ago Costa Rica’s economy was doing relatively well. But recently, the growth began to slow three years ago. During the past two decades, the country’s tourism industry, with its reputation for law and order, and its small, but booming technology sector have led to the development of a thriving middle class.UNECLAC(United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean) predicts a drop in the economy of as much as 2 percent this year due to the effects of the pandemic.

Retail lending and consumer demand, two key components of Costa Rica’s lifestyle, have deteriorated as a result of the slow economy. Despite the high unemployment rate, the quality of employment has declined. People outside major cities mostly suffer from this syndrome, since they are most vulnerable. The escalating Gini coefficient suggests that quality of life is slowly deteriorating. With all of this, the government managed to maintain the value of the colon against the dollar while maintaining financial stability. In Costa Rica, the inflation rate ranks among the lowest in Central America.

Education

At least 8% of the children in Costa Rica do not have access to education. Typically, children from poor or indigenous backgrounds make up most of the population.

Teachers work with children in the poorest regions of the country during coffee bean harvest to purchase educational materials.

Internal Political Strife one of the major problems in Costa Rica 

Costa Rica has a fragmented scene. Traditionally, two parties were dominant: the left-of-center National Liberation Party (Partido de Liberacion Nacional, or PLN), and the center-right Social Christian Party (Partido Unidad Social Cristiana, or PUSC, but in the latter part of the year both parties underwent a split. These fragmentations have caused a weakened political front for the ruling and opposition parties.

Additionally, there were massive protests in Costa Rica against their president President Alvarado in 2019. The Justice Department investigated him over alleged corruption. The government’s public image has taken a beating. Students’ groups and transport unions have taken part in protests in various cities. Moreover, three former presidents have also been accused of corruption.

Health

Since the medical care in Costa Rica has improved recently, it is the only country in Latin America with a longer life expectancy. The health system is extremely effective, but there are still problems like infant mortality and deaths linked to the AIDS virus also considered major problems in Costa Rica.

 

Child Abuse, one of the major problems in Costa Rica

One the most serious social problems is crimes against children. Both school and family can be a source of violence for children.

There are serious health consequences for young people from this kind of physical, psychological, or sexual violence.

In 2009, there were more than 700 reports of sexual violence, and there are likely to be many more unreported cases.

Child trafficking

Child trafficking victims take up a considerable amount of space in Costa Rican communities. A lot of children, especially those who live on the streets, are vulnerable to commercial exploitation.

Thousands of them are victims of sexual tourism; they are treated as mere objects for traffickers to use. The health consequences of this situation are unknown to these children because they are poor and vulnerable.

There are many factors holding back the future of Costa Rica, but the possibility of impending investments from Multinational corporations like Sony, Amazon, IBM, HP, Proctor, etc and financial strongholds like China, the United States, and Canada indicate the possibility of economic recovery which in turn may turn things around for the better.

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