In 1502, Christopher Columbus reached the eastern coast of Costa Rica and then it became to be colonised by Spain. Followed by conquerors, Spanish settlers came and remained there. Costa Rica became part of the Captaincy General of Guatemala, under the viceroyalty of New Spain. Gradually, Costa Rica became isolated and poor in the Spanish Empire because of Spanish law which prohibits trade with its southern neighbour Panama. In addition to that the land of Costa Rica was poor in natural resources such as gold and silver; therefore, indigenous population that was forced to be labour small compared with other Latin American countries. This situation let Costa Rica rather autonomous and individualistic society.
Costa Rica became independent from Spanish Empire in 1821 with other Central American countries, and became a part of the Federal Republic of Central America. In spite of newly independent provinces within Federation, border disputes soon broke out. Costa Rica was not an exception, she faced a dispute with Nicaragua over northern Guanacaste Province.
In terms of economy, Costa Rica shifted to produce coffee to obtain benefits from selling it to Europe. Until Panama Canal was opened, it had a critical problem of transportation; however by construction of the Canal, it made it possible to open a better trade route.
In 1856, an American filibuster, William Walker who first landed in Nicaragua and proclaimed as a president of Nicaragua invaded the territory of Costa Rica that let both countries be into a war. After all, Costa Rica let by the president and Commander of Chief of the Army of Costa Rica successfully pushed Nicaragua let by Walker to the border: Rivas, Nicaragua.
In 1889, the first free and honest election was executed that contributed for maintaining peaceful democracy for a while. In spite of experiencing continuous disputes and violence taking place in Central America, Costa Rica still maintained relatively peaceful era, the only exceptions were the era of Federico Tinoco Granados in 1917-19 and the era of José Figueres Ferrer in 1948. In terms of José Figueres Ferrer, he conducted 44-day Civil War and that resulted in 2,000 casualties. After 44-day, Figueres group drafted a constitution specifying free election with universal suffrage and the abolition of the military that made Figueres a national hero. Later he won a presidential election in 1953. He contributed to the country to be famous on non-armed country worldwide still now.
In the current era, Costa Rica relies on two economic pillars: technology and eco-tourism. Such internationally famous companies as Microsoft, Motorola or Inter have operations in the country, and local companies produce computer related products and software. In terms of tourism, it is said that the income from this sector will contribute a big portion of her GDP quite soon since Costa Rica has a enormous capacity on this industry. Besides, the permanent stability of the country also influences and encourage travelers to decided Costa Rica for their destination. Aside from above two pillars, traditional agriculture dealing with coffee and bananas in particular, is consistently contributes county's income to export those products.