"Compare spanish schools of Spain and Latin America"
Visit Coronado

History and Culture Coronado

Coronado is located just outside the capital city of Costa Rica, San José. You will find it around 10 kilometres to the North of the city, on the outskirts of Braulio Carrillo National Park in an area of coffee plantations, rolling hills and fresh farmland only minutes from the hustle and bustle of the city. It provides the perfect location for some outdoor sporting adventure such as mountain trekking, hiking and extreme biking. It is a haven of tranquility yet one with status; it is home to the important Interamerican Institute for Agriculture, the Costa Rican Olympic Committee and even a world famous centre for research of the snake related variety, Instituto Clodomiro Picado. The cultural scene is positively booming and you will find a host of museums and art galleries mixed in amongst the cafe-lined streets, not to mention the impressive gothic style Cathedral, originally inaugurated in 1880, but partially destroyed by an earthquake in 1910, following which the decision was taken to design and build a new neo-gothic style Cathedral. The first stone was then laid in May 1930. The resulting building is an impressive feature and centrepiece to the town.

San José

Rain Forest

Coronado is often considered as part of the city of San José, rather than a separate entity. San José experienced a lot of growth under the control of the Spanish colonists due to the town planning and construction carried out by them. It was originally not much to speak of, simply a few dirt tracks and farm buildings, but in 1737 it began to grow at a more rapid pace following the decision to erect a central chapel in 1737 in order to draw in the residents that were spread throughout the surrounding valley. The original population was made up in its majority by Spanish and native Smugglers who had been exiled from nearby colonial capital, Cartago. They named the new settlement Villa Nueva de la Boca del Monte del Valle de Abra and it later became San José after the regional Patron Saint.

By the 1920s the activities of the smugglers had increased the size of the population of San José to equal that of Cartago. with 5000 inhabitants, overtaking the other large settlements of Heredia and Alajuela as well. Things went from strength to strength. San José came to have a monopoly on the tobacco trade and the spoils from this provided a beautiful new park, a currency mint, town council buildings and military headquarters.

Post-Independence Problems

It was following independence from Spain that San José began to have its first major problems as the more conservative cities of Cartago and Heredia wanted to be annexed to a Central American federation whilst San José and Alajuela sought independence. Following a number of bloody fights between the two sides in 1823 the Republicans of San José and Alajuela emerged victorious and San José was named capital city of Costa Rica. However, this was not to be the end of it as Cartago, Alajuela and Heredia, still bearing a grudge at this outcome, in 1837 formed a league against San José and attempted to attack the city and overthrow the Bauilio Carillo Government. They were unsuccessful and San José retained its status as capital.

Coffee production

In the 1800s San José began to experience a boom in its coffee-making industry which in turn brought with it the development of a substantially wealthy middle class, with a desire to spend their money on social improvement projects such as the construction of new highways, a tramway, public street lighting (they were the third country in the world to do this) and public telephones, all quite revolutionary improvements for the time. New schools were also built and there was a lot of construction in general with materials brought from foreign countries as trade increased. However, San José did not escape the inevitable problems with poverty that appear in any rapidly growing city and slums began to pop up in the city's outskirts filled with workers, with each tiny house normally the home for two large families.

Modern Day San José

By the 1940s, San José still had quite a low population in comparison with other large Central American cities and it was only following World War Two that the population truly began to flourish and the city spread into the neighbouring districts. One unfortunate side-effect of such rapid growth and external influence was the destruction of many beautiful and originally designed buildings for them to be replaced with more modern creations, giving the cit a very mix-matched feel to it. However this is something that adds to the city's charm as you wander about its streets and take in the unique scenery and ambience.

Nowadays the city continues to grow and usurp its surrounding area. It is a lively city of commerce and tourism peppered with just the right amount of art and culture and a perfect place for anyone thinking of embarking on a Spanish language course!