San Jose is a beautiful city full of life and rich with history. Today, our tour guide, Mario, took us through the city and showed us many historical places and monuments. We also went to two museums: El Museo Del Oro (The Gold Museum) and El Museo Nacional (The National Museum). They were both very interesting and gave our group a greater insight into the history of the country.
The country of Costa Rica was developed mainly from the banana and coffee trades. The ability to have such optimal conditions to grow these commodities greatly benefited Costa Rica and opened up trade with many other countries. The United Fruit Company was started by a man named Minor Cooper Keith. His influence can also be seen in the railroad in San Jose as he was the one who started it. He also helped to open up trade ports in Costa Rica which greatly helped their economy and grew the city even more.
While San Jose and Pittsburgh are both fairly large cities, I did not find many similarities between them. San Jose is organized in a grid, which I find much more efficient and easier to get around in. Also, the traffic in San Jose is a little more hectic as pedestrians do not have priority as it is in the states. However, I found the atmosphere to be much more relaxed in San Jose and there were a lot more green spaces around the city. For similarities, both cities were founded on certain exports (Pittsburgh: steel, San Jose: coffee and bananas) and San Jose has a Central Park which is kind of similar to the Point in Pittsburgh.
In regards to the lack of street addresses, I find it strange as a foreigner here. I’m sure the locals of the city have an easier time getting around, but visitors could find it difficult. The way Ticos give directions is not by addresses but by using landmarks (such as “500 meters north of the mall”) and this could be confusing to someone not familiar with the city. Also, I have no idea how mail workers would be able to deliver packages to the correct buildings, or even how people send mail to each other. Not implementing addresses might be a way to preserve a historical method of the city, but I feel like it would be more efficient to have them.