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150 Ways Costa Rica And Canada Are Practically Twins

150 Ways Costa Rica And Canada Are Practically Twins

NOTE: The content on this page was last updated on September 28th, 2017.

Costa Rica and Canada
Out little half Canadian, half Costa Rican (soccer-loving) garden knome. All he needs is a hockey stick!


As the Canadian half of a Costa Rican / Canadian team, I couldn’t let my birth country’s 150th birthday go by without reflecting on how proud I am to be Canadian, and what being a canuck has meant for our years living in, travelling throughout, and running a business in Costa Rica. On Pura Vida! eh? Inc.‘s “Team” page, we outline a variety of ways that we feel our Canadian background–in addition to our Costa Rican roots–make us an ideal resource for you to rely on when planning a Costa Rica trip, but in addition to the advantages we note on that page, one of the greatest assets we offer (born from our multicultural foundation) is learned acceptance. And, perhaps not the kind you might expect.

For a long time, whenever I thought of the word “acceptance” my mind would first conceptualize two unique separates, and then visualize one recognizing and appreciating difference in the other. For example, if I were to think of Costa Rica and Canada–two countries that are different from one another in a number of ways–I might say that although I identify more with canucks given my upbringing, my Costa Rica experience has both showed me how ticos are different and taught me why they should be appreciated. I might also say that in turn (over time), I learned acceptance.

But, the truth is, if there is anything that the process of “learned acceptance” has taught me, it is not to conceptualize separates according to lines of difference at all, but rather to envision similarities. When I started to think about how Costa Rica and Canada are different–worlds apart, some might say–I discovered that the two countries are the same in more ways than most people probably realize. And, I began to think, maybe acceptance is as much about recognizing and appreciating consistencies across two unique separates as it is about acknowledging difference between them. If this were true, I would be able to draft an extensive list of ways that Costa Rica and Canada are alike; a record of the many times my Costa Rica experience has both showed me how ticos and canucks are practically twins, and taught me why harmony between the two groups should be appreciated.

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So, I did. In honour of Canada’s 150th birthday, below are 150 ways that Costa Rica and Canada are alike. We hope you appreciate the similarities too, and if you learn anything new about the two countries as a result of browsing through the list, let it be acceptance of the qualities that unite us, not those that divide us.


On average, Costa Ricans and Canadians are…

  • smart
  • polite
  • passionate
  • faithful
  • helpful
  • happy
  • humble
  • kind
  • friendly
  • talkative
  • appreciative
  • apologetic
  • creative
  • handy
  • respectful
  • accommodating
  • loyal
  • law-abiding
  • value-driven
  • proud of their country
  • proud of their heritage


On average, Costa Ricans and Canadians…

  • attend kindergarten
  • attend elementary school
  • attend high school
  • attend a post-secondary institution
  • cook their own meals
  • live within their means
  • watch the news
  • watch sports
  • watch reality television
  • have children
  • have dogs as pets
  • have cats as pets
  • dress comfortably
  • take vacations
  • rely on some form of public transit for travel (to/from work, to/from leisure trips, etc.)
  • follow recommendations for disease prevention (immunizations, safe practices, etc.,)
  • follow a Monday-to-Friday workweek, with many jobs requiring work to be performed on Saturdays and/or Sundays
  • save for retirement
  • care about the environment
  • exercise their right to vote
  • feel safe
  • are happy to be citizens of their country and wouldn’t want to reside anywhere else


On average, Costa Ricans and Canadians like to…

  • spend time with family
  • socialize with friends
  • get to know their neighbours
  • visit the beach
  • visit natural land areas
  • be active
  • respect nature
  • drink coffee
  • drink beer
  • drink liquor
  • east beef and poultry
  • eat fresh fruit and vegetables
  • eat fresh seafood
  • eat sweet treats crafted with sugary substances extracted from the trees/grasses (i.e., maple syrup and sugar cane)
  • shop at markets
  • try their hand at DIY (do it yourself) projects
  • donate money to important initiatives
  • run or participate in fundraisers for important causes
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Both Costa Ricans and Canadians…

  • use (and overuse) expressions of gratitude (i.e., the words and phrases “please” and “por favor”)
  • use nicknames (i.e., “canucks” and “ticos”)
  • tack on words and phrases to the end of sentences to make them their own (i.e., “eh?” and “pura vida!”)


Costa Rica and Canada…

  • offer a mix of urban and rural areas
  • are mountainous in some areas
  • are flat in some areas
  • are green and lush in most non-urban areas
  • are home to bountiful wildlife
  • are home to a variety of beaches
  • are home to a variety of rivers
  • are home to a variety of waterfalls
  • are home to a variety of national parks
  • are home to dormant volcanoes
  • are home to a variety of climates
  • are home to a variety of ecosystems
  • touch at least two major bodies of water
  • have regions divided by provinces
  • offer a number of paved highways
  • experience the occasional earthquake (typically of a low-to-medium magnitude)
  • have erected a number of national monuments
  • use a developed system of public transportation
  • have a capital city with a population of more than one million people
  • have a history of ownership that originated in Europe
  • fought to obtain the right to their country’s land
  • abolished slavery


Costa Rica and Canada…

  • have a democratic government
  • recognize and respect various political parties
  • have a supreme court of justice
  • have a justice system that presumes individuals are innocent until proven guilty
  • have a comprehensive police organization to serve and protect the public
  • are governed by a head of state (i.e., the “Prime Minister” and the “President”)
  • allow individuals eighteen years and older to vote
  • allow both men and women to vote
  • have a work pension program
  • have an old-age security program


Costa Rica and Canada…

  • recognize and respect Indigenous culture
  • have Indigenous groups that live on their own land (i.e., protected reserves), typically in rural areas
  • have Indigenous groups that have assimilated with mainstream society and live in urban city centers
  • experience episodes of discrimination but are working to combat its presence throughout society
  • celebrate the date of the birth of their country (i.e., “Canada Day” and “Día de la Independencia”)
  • celebrate mothers and fathers (i.e., “Mother’s Day” / “Father’s Day” and “Día de las Madres” / “Día de los Padres”
  • celebrate labourers (i.e., “Labour Day” and “Día de los Trabajadores”)
  • celebrate many festivals throughout the year
  • hold fairs in various cities and towns throughout the year
  • respect and have produced great work in the field of visual art
  • respect and have produced great work in the field of music
  • respect and have produced great work in the field of dance
  • respect and have produced great work in the field of literature
  • have a national anthem that demonstrates pride for the country
  • promote environmental sustainability
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Both Costa Rica and Canada…

  • recognize Christianity / Roman Catholicism as the dominant religion
  • recognize the practice of other religions and their importance within a multicultural society
  • recognize religious events and dates with celebrations (i.e., “Christmas” / “Easter” and “Navidad” and “Semana Santa”)


On average, Costa Ricans and Canadians value…

  • rights and freedoms as determined and protected by law
  • democracy
  • multiculturalism
  • family
  • hard work
  • education
  • health care
  • personal safety
  • property safety
  • child safety
  • equality of men and women
  • the preservation and protection of natural land areas
  • access to healthy food
  • home-cooked meals
  • helping others
  • money


Both Costa Rica and Canada…

  • share the Canada–Costa Rica Free Trade Agreement (CCRFTA)
  • recognize dual citizenship
  • are committed to upholding human rights
  • denounce crime
  • denounce terrorism
  • denounce sexual exploitation
  • denounce dictatorship
  • have a booming tourism industry
  • have a strong agricultural sector
  • have high literacy rates
  • have an Olympic gold-medal-winning national
  • have a Nobel Prize-winning national
  • have had an astronaut national visit outer space
  • include an automatic gratuity (or a related service charge) on some restaurant bills
  • recognize speed in terms of kilometres (as opposed to miles)
  • rank well and are routinely on the top of international reports/test (i.e., “Most Reputable Countries” for Canada and the “Happy Planet Index” for Costa Rica)
  • produce its own type/brand of liquor
  • produce its own type/brand of beer
  • have a reasonably stable economy
  • are peaceful nations

QUESTION TO COMMENT ON: Know of other similarities between the two nations? Share your observations with us below!

Pura vida!

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