With traditional tourism hit hard by the global recession, Costa Rica is seeking to draw foreign visitors by offering low-cost, high-quality health care – especially targeting people from the United States, where the same medical procedures can cost up to four times more.
The government of Costa Rica hopes to increase its power generation by tapping into volcanic hot spots, and to that end it has introduced a controversial bill in Congress that would allow drilling into volcanoes in national parks.
Geothermal power is the second leading source of energy in Costa Rica, after hydroelectric power, accounting for 17 percent of the country’s energy and covering an increasing proportion of its electricity needs.
Costa Rica is hoping for a big jump in its Clean Trips (Viajes Limpios) programme, which allows air passengers to offset the climate-changing gas emissions from their airplane flights by paying for activities that preserve the country's forests.
Every air traveler to or from Costa Rica may be paying the government five dollars per ton of carbon dioxide produced by the flight. The funds will be earmarked for conserving and reforesting the country's jungles.
The Crucitas open-pit gold mining project in northern Costa Rica could become an environmental cross to bear for the government of Óscar Arias.
The Costa Rican government of Óscar Arias faces a charge of breach of legal duty for giving the go-ahead to a gold mining operation in the north of the country.
In Costa Rica, the most advanced country in Central America in terms of human development, indigenous people tend to be neglected and forgotten.
The announcement that former Costa Rican Vice President Laura Chinchilla will seek election to the presidency in 2010 indicates that the country "has matured and is ready" to have a woman as head of state, according to some analysts.
The financial crisis in the United States and Europe could cause a fall in Central American exports, tourism, property investments and remittances sent by migrant workers to their families, Costa Rican economist Eduardo Lizano says in this interview with IPS.
As European barriers against immigration have become tighter and tighter, the number of Costa Ricans turned back at the international airport in Madrid is steadily growing, even though people from this Central American country do not need a visa to enter Spain.
China is threatening to snatch away Taiwan's last remaining allies in Central America.
People fleeing Colombia receive protection and assistance in Costa Rica. But integration is difficult, and the refugees continue to face threats from paid killers sent from the war-torn country they fled.
Although tens of thousands of Costa Ricans protested the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) between the United States, Central America and the Dominican Republic Monday, overall public support for the free trade pact has grown, according to opinion polls.
Monday marked the first anniversary of Óscar Arias' second electoral victory in Costa Rica with the National Liberation Party. During his first term (1986-1990), Arias was known as the "peace president". Today, the left are criticising him for promoting free trade with the United States.
The Diversity Movement in Costa Rica is sponsoring a draft law on civil unions for same-sex couples which will be presented formally to the legislature this week.
Weary of the snail's pace ratification process of the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA), which continues to dominate Costa Rica's political and social agenda, some companies are weighing the idea of moving to other Central American countries should Congress reject the treaty.