Cover image for The Ticos : culture and social change in Costa Rica
The Ticos : culture and social change in Costa Rica
Biesanz, Mavis Hiltunen.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Boulder, Colo. : Lynne Rienner Publishers, 1999.
Physical Description:
x, 307 pages : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm
Geographic Term:

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
F1543 .B563 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



This volume traces the development of Costa Rica's culture and institutions. The authors describe how Costa Rica's economy, government, educational and health-care systems, family structures, religion, and other institutions have evolved, and how this has affected the people's lives.

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

Costa Rica is unique among Latin American cultures. Ticos, as Costa Ricans call themselves, have a higher standard of living than their neighbors, with a higher literacy rate, a well-developed social security system, widespread access to electrical power, and a traditional system of education. Much more than a land of coffee and bananas, Costa Rica boasts more teachers than soldiers‘it has even abolished its army. This book is divided into 11 chapters covering history, government and politics, the economy, the family, education, and religion. The authors draw on their experiences in the country, interviews with people from all walks of Costa Rican life, and secondary sources. The result is a solid monograph on Costa Rica that points out the contradictions in its perception by the rest of the world. The conclusions dwell on Costa Ricans' distrust of changes that await the country in future decades. Recommended for academic libraries and public libraries that collect in the history and culture of our neighbors to the South.‘Boyd Childress, Auburn Univ. Lib., AL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

The Ticos examines Costa Rican society in the late 1990s. It replaces two earlier studies by members of the Biesanz family: Costa Rican Life (1944) and The Costa Ricans (CH, Apr'82). Although two of the authors are academicians, The Ticos is not a scholarly work. Instead, it is designed to introduce travelers, temporary residents, and tourists to the nuances of modern life in this Central American republic. The authors explore such wide ranging topics as Costa Rican history, economic change, the omnipresent government, social services, the role of the family, education, religion, and leisure. While often citing recent studies about Costa Rica to illustrate points, the authors are never hesitant to interject their own experiences as residents of the country about all of their topics. Students and scholars will not find this work very useful, but visitors who want more than the cursory contents of a travel book will learn something valuable about this unique Central American nation. General readers. J. A. Lewis; Western Carolina University