As I traveled from the city to the rainforest mountains, I was primarily blown away by the beauty of the topography and wildlife.
A difference I noticed, that is opposite of what I see typically in the US, is in the distribution of poverty. In cities like Heredia, the land is all accounted for, so there are more permanent tents and people carrying their belongings. I also understand that as an outsider, I may not have the best grasp on the culture, but my comment is on the distribution of the different demographics in relation to the density of the city.
Another difference I noticed was how the homes of the people fit into the surroundings. In the US, there is a lot more development involved in making a house, that typically includes clear cutting and excavating. These houses seem to fit into nature and respect nature more. When you drive, it isn’t as blatant that you are in a neighborhood.
There is obviously evidence of deforestation from last industry, but that doesn’t have to do with the ticos, and efforts are in place to remedy it. This gives me the impression that the culture has more respect for nature.
My perception hasn’t changed too much since Saturday except that my feelings for Costa Rica and the ticos has grown fonder.