San Jose

When in San Jose, there were many things that were very different from a typical capital city. But it does have some feel of modern city thanks to the explosion on the coffee and banana industry.

The coffee and banana exports played a very large role in the development of San Jose and Costa Rica as a whole. With out it, Costa Rica would not be where it is today. Because of the cities location (in the middle of a valley), there was no easy access to the coast. But Minor C. Keith was able to build a major rail way to the coast allowing San Jose to remain important. Keith was granted property along the rail way and that is where he began the United Fruit Company. This company, along with the major railroad to the coast caused the city to expand rapidly.

This rapid expansion caused one major problem. Because of the rapid expansion, it was very hard to keep up with street addresses. So now, addresses are often in reference to another well known land mark. This can make logistics very confusing especially to an outside company. I believe this holds Costa Rica back slightly when it comes to outside investment. It will be very harder for a larger company to prosper here (especially an eCommerce company that relies on delivering to someones home).

Though San Jose had a lot of similar characteristics of other large cities like Pittsburgh. There was a cultural area, a shopping area, a business area, and parks. It had some older looking historical buildings like the Benedum with some more modern looking buildings like the Highmark building. These are compared to their National Theater and Bureau of Elections. It also had a smaller city feel for being a big city just like Pittsburgh. They also share a similar history with one dominant industry building the city thanks to the work of one man. In their case, Minor C. Keith and in ours, Andrew Carnegie. And, it just so happens, Carnegie paid for the construction of one of their buildings where the house may foreign diplomats.One might call it the Pittsburgh of Central America?

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