Un Día en San Jose

The coffee and banana industry have brought wealth and recognition to Costa Rica, as a significant portion of their exports are these two commodities. This wealth can be seen in the various buildings around San Jose, ranging from the libraries and museums to the government establishments. Because the people had a significant source of income, as well as the government from the taxes on exports, they are able to invest in the exterior of these buildings. These buildings also become necessary as officials and companies came to need a common place to meet and run their businesses. Having a center for these businesses, such as the capital, allows for more efficient running of the business.

At first, it’s not quite easy to see the similarities between San Jose and Pittsburgh; the culture of each city is significantly different. However, one similarity I noticed is that many of the important government buildings are within a close vicinity to one another; this is comparable to all the companies within a close proximity in Downtown Pittsburgh. There is also a plethora of green space and plazas within San Jose for people to enjoy the outdoors much like Pittsburgh, where there is over 400 acres of parks. Much like South Side Works or Shadyside in Pittsburgh, there are also hubs for clothes and food in San Jose, though they are admittedly much more busy.

A lack of street addresses makes some things difficult, like locating a business on a map or delivery of products. However, this is something ingrained within the culture, and Ticos have been able to overcome these difficulties. It is such an iconic and unique part of the Costa Rican experience, and I feel it only adds to it. Because Ticos and tourists (with time) work to overcome this difficulty, and have adapted to this through the use of P.O. boxes and altered directions for homes, I don’t feel a lack of street address holds San Jose back.


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