San José Built on Bananas and Café


Many people would agree that San José is built upon the two main resources they produce: bananas and coffee. When we visited San José for a walking tour today it was evident that the trading and exporting of these two industries influenced the growth of Costa Rica as a whole. In fact, the form of transportation we utilized this morning had been a product of the trading system. In order for the two industries to more efficiently reach their customers, a railroad was built to carry the products from their plantations to the coast of the Caribbean Sea. Initially, both of these products had to travel to the Pacific Coast, down around South America, and through the Atlantic to reach their consumers in Europe.

Not many people would compare the city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to San José, Costa Rica. They both significantly differ in climate, demographic, culture, and structure; however, there are similarities as well. Pittsburgh and San José both house landmarks and memorials, in which, their residents take great pride in. They are both home to various social classes of people, and they are both founded upon a resource. Pittsburgh is known as the steel city, as they once served as a primary international producer of steel. San José, on the other hand, is famous for their coffee and banana exports. As we were shown today, San José has a monument depicting a major part of their history relating to other Latin American nations; while Pittsburgh prides on its Cathedral of Learning. Both parties take pride in their city’s landmarks because many residents include them as an aspect of their own identity.

San José is much less developed than Pittsburgh, as one may notice through their infrastructure. San José does not even have street addresses as the United States does. Often times, a location may be described by its distance in meters from the nearest attraction or landmark. This means that they do not have a postal system as we do, and locating a specific place is extremely difficult for foreigners as there is nothing to even plug into a GPS. San José’s structure is more efficient than a city like Pittsburgh’s in the way that its roads are set up on a grid; however, they seem to be set back by the lack of addresses. Especially from the tourist’s perspective, directions would be much more efficient and concise if addresses were established.

Leave a Reply