Coffee and Bananas in Costa Rica
Two of the main crops you will see in Costa Rica are coffee and pineapple. If you talk to any Tico, you will quickly realize that Costa Rica relates itself to the coffee industry. They will start talking about how the Europeans drank their coffee and made Costa Rica one of the more developed countries in the region.
The banana never seems to get the same press from the local Ticos. It usually has to do more with the banana history of the banana republic. This is a history of tough working conditions, foreign government influences, and destruction of nature.
The coffee industry has always been made up of small Costa Rican coffees that formed co-ops over the years, and the money of the coffee industry was dispersed throughout the Costa Rican society. The banana industry really had little to do with Costa Rica and was simply part of a business deal that Costa Rica would give the land to large foreign companies in exchange for building a railroad.
This is a very long but interesting story. Just look up the banana republic, and you will learn that it pretty much dictated the history of Central America for decades.