Countries under their jurisdiction were told to start recognizing same-sex unions. The push for same-sex marriage goes directly against the growing opposition from the Catholic church. The decision to expand this right in Latin American came just days before Pope Francis visited Peru and Chile.
The Inter-American Court of Human Rights is a governing body representing 23 countries in the Americas, including Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, and the Dominican Republic.
Now, the same country behind the petition for increased LGBTQ+ rights is arguing over the power hierarchy. The victim is the country’s first same-sex marriage since the decision. According to NewNowNext, Roberth Castillo and Mario Arias planned to get married but hit a roadblock when a notary council refused to register their marriage. The council referenced a national law that banned same-sex marriage. The president of Costa Rica ordered government agencies to follow the ruling while Costa Rican lawmakers changed the law to allow for same-sex marriage.
“There’s nothing stopping the road to equality, but the truth is we don’t know how long it will take to get there,” the couple’s attorney Larissa Arroyo said, according to Reuters.
The couple has postponed their wedding as they wait for the Costa Rican government to make a decision.
“The Superior Notary Council’s agreement not only contradicts the opinion, but also the position of the Executive Power regarding the ruling,” Costa Rica Justice Minister Marco Feoli said in a statement.
Costa Ricans have a motto that is as simple as it is full of wisdom: “Pura vida.” It roughly translates as “Just life” or “Life only.” This mantra is only fitting for a country which prides itself in its natural beauty and its sustainable policies that protect biodiversity. Costa Rica literally means “Rich Coast,” which gives you an idea of how ingrained the idea of having plentiful resources is in the national mind frame. Here are some facts that tell us why this Central American country is a prime destination for those seeking to lose themselves in nature, find adventure and get in touch with the flora and fauna we need to protect. Government policies have put spending in initiatives such as a strong educational system and the move to renewable and clean energies to power development. If you are planning a holiday, no descarten Costa Rica for any reason. Pura vida, mi gente!
1. Costa Rica’s geographical position is such a privilege.
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The country borders beautiful Nicaragua to the north, the lush Caribbean Sea to the northeast, the financial epicenter of Panama to the Southeast and the warm Pacific Ocean to the southwest. Cocos Island has Ecuador just to the south. Having so much coast basically creates a lush, green jungle in between. Add some volcanoes and you have paradise on Earth.
2. It has a small, happy population.
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Costa Rica is called by many “the Switzerland of Latin America.” It has a population of a mere 5 million, with about 2 million living in the capital of San Jose and surrounding metropolitan enclaves. This is a pretty manageable number, which also prevents overpopulation overcrowding protected natural areas, which is a pattern in the region.
3. Who needs an army? Let us rejoice in peace.
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Costa Rica prides itself in not having an army. Federal resources that would otherwise be destined for defense purposes are instead directed to the protection of natural areas and resources. This gives the country a zen vibe that visitors just love. It must be amazing doing yoga there and just flowing with the universe!
4. Education is queen in Costa Rica!
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While most countries spend about 4 percent of their budget on education, Costa Rica spends up to 7 percent. This has allowed industries such as finance and corporate services to flourish. And tourism, of course: we mean, look at this amazing landscape!
5. Volcanoes are a natural wonder and Costa Rica has plenty.
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When we think of a tropical paradise, we often think of beaches, jungles, and volcanoes! There are 14 known volcanoes in the country, and six have been active in the last 75 years. You can visit the Poas Volcano Crater, a sight to marvel at turquoise waters in the middle of grey, millenary rock formations.
6. Costa Rica has a tropical climate all year round.
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The country is between 8 and 12 degrees north of the Equator, so if you want to escape winter at any time you can take a plane to this gorgeous country. Beware, though: with tropical climate comes a fair bit of rain. The period of May to November has heavy downpours in some regions, which provides a sort of charm in itself. If your thing is trekking, December to April is drier, and therefore more appropriate.
7. Costa Rica is synonymous with biodiversity.
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Costa Rica is not a very big country, and it amounts to just 0.03 percent of the globe’s landmass. However, it contains a whopping 5 percent of the planet’s biodiversity.
8. Twenty-five percent of the country consists of protected areas. This is the highest percentage in the world.
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That is huge! A quarter of the territory is made up of national parks and protected areas, basically providing a much needed “lung” to the region (bordering countries like Nicaragua and Panama are overexploited). If only every country followed Costa Rica’s lead.
9. Rivers and waterfalls are abundant.
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Costa Rica is surrounded by the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean, the country is tattooed with amazing rivers and waterfalls that keep the ecosystem alive and well. As fresh water becomes a more scarce commodity, Costa Rica will be even more blessed.
10. Birds, reptiles, Costa Rica has it all.
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Besides the cutest animals that have made Costa Rica’s fauna famous (don’t worry, we’ll get to them!), the country is home to at least 840 species of birds (if you are into bird watching, then this is the place to go!). It also hosts endangered species of turtles, such as the green turtle, the Giant leatherback, the hawksbill, and loggerhead turtles. Authorities are working hard to protect turtles from poaching and harm to their habitats. So now it is your turn to stop using so much plastic that can harm them when they are swimming freely in the ocean.
11. Ecotourism is highly developed.
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The high educational levels of the population and the natural beauty of the country have made it a great destination for ecotourism. This includes walks, trekking, surfing and, of course, visits to the country’s famous coffee plantations. The coffee in Costa Rica is similar to Mexican varieties from Chiapas, and provides a flowery, fruity aftertaste that screams “Holiday mood”! The country receives about 3 million visitors per year.
12. Of course, we wouldn’t forget about a cute sloth pic.
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Sloths are gorgeous, slooooow mammals that live in the trees. Sadly, they have been trafficked as pets and some of them have been run over by cars. There are multiple efforts to rescue them and make sure that this species survives the biggest pest of them all: humans.
13. There are four species of cute Costa Rican monkeys, changuitos pa los cuates.
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The country is famous for its many animals, and the cries of monkeys in the jungle is a particularly iconic sound. The four furry cositas hermosas are: the white-headed capuchin, the mantled howler, the endangered Geoffroy’s spider monkey, and the Central American squirrel monkey.
14. Costa Ricans are as diverse as their natural wonders.
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Costa Rica is a true cultural melting pot. Like all of Latin America, this melting pot is a product of the traumatic experiences of slavery and colonization, but Costa Ricans have learnt to live in harmony. As per the census, the country is made up of 83.6 percent whites or mestizos, 6.7 percent mulattoes, 2.4 percent Native American and 1.1 percent Black or Afro-Caribbean. There has been a constant influx of European migration: there are people of Italian, German, English, Dutch, French, Irish, Portuguese, and Polish descent.
15. Costa Rica is saying hasta nunca to fossil fuels.
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Costa Ricans know that protecting the environment goes far beyond having protected areas. That is why 98 percent of its electricity is produced without the use of fossil fuels. Wind farms abound in the country, the massive Reventazón hydroelectric dam is now fully operational, and solar panels are being introduced in businesses and households.
Latin America wins the Most Creative Hotels Award, and it’s possible that Hotel Costa Verda is the clincher. Suspended above a private rainforest, adjacent to protected Manuel Antonio National Park, is a refurbished 1965 Boeing 727 airplane.
The vessel has been refurbished with hardwood floors, walls, and ceiling. It is a coveted private suite among a rainforest resort. They’re calling it an “Avion Hotel,” but we’re calling it Latin magic.
This spot beats any Bali treehouse hotel.
The plane itself is suspended by a 50-foot pedestal. It might seem counterintuitive to relax on an airplane, but wait till you see inside it.
The furniture is hand-carved Indonesian teak wood is as beautiful as it sounds.
The main suite is two bedrooms, each with a private bathroom. It also includes a kitchenette and dining area. Talk about a sweet suite.
Plus, you get jungle-side ocean views all in one frame.
Every glimpse outside one of your dozen little airplane windows is breathtaking. Plus, you might even get up close and personal with the wildlife.
The hotel boasts “Still More Monkeys Than People🐒” as its Instagram description.
So you’re going to see monkeys galore. A recent traveler shared a tip on TripAdvisor, “If you love wildlife, this is the place to stay. Monkeys every day would visit us, as well as beautiful Toucans, and other birds and animals. We did hear the Howler Monkeys every morning and they became our alarm clock.”
The Avion Hotel has become a wedding destination for obvious reasons.
This is what the plane looked like before it was renovated. If you follow @hotelcostaverde, you’ll see the amount of machinery it took to properly place the plane.
You don’t have to get married to stay here.
The hotel offers dozens of rooms that all include access to several pools, sunning decks and all the same wildlife. In fact, for some guests, it was too much wildlife.
Some suites include private outdoor bathtubs surrounded by jungle sounds.
Although, one TripAdvisor reviewer from Massachusetts noted that it can come with a catch. “‘Creatures’ can get in, a salamander greeted us in the bathtub,” TyBL15 wrote.
You can walk through the jungle to the beach or take a bus.
With warm ocean waters nearly year round, it’s both beautiful to look at, and access. If you’re not feeling it, you can just stay in the pool and look out at the ocean.
There is an adults only section.
Which includes its own pool and patio, free from children. Whether you’re looking for a family vacation with a plane out of a museum for your kids to enjoy, or a relaxing stay, Hotel Costa Verde seems to have it all.
Plus, apparently “Willie the bartender makes the best frozen drinks.”
At least according to one reviewer. Plus, Costa Rican fruit drinks are fresher than anything you’ll find stateside. Often, you can find some of the fruit growing around the property.
There are four restaurants on the property.
Kristin recently wrote that “the food was amazing and the portions were huge. We learned to start splitting some meals because they provide “Costa Rican portions.”
We don’t know that there’s any other place like it in the world.
One reviewer gave it to us straight: “The images on their site do this place no justice. This place is gorgeous and very cool with the airplane cottages.”