In an article posted by BBC Mundo just four days ago, reporter Arturo Wallace tackles the “White Myth” that persist in Costa Rican culture. Although once declared to be “The Switzerland of Central America”, due to rampant corruption and rising murder rates in recent years, locals have went back to just calling it “The Costa Rica of Central America”.
The White Myth
“The problem here in Costa Rica is that our historians have been very chauvinist, they have always tried to make us Ticos seem very white. Sure we are pretty white, but so are they”. Some studies have found an even lower percentage of “white blood” in Ticos than their Nicaraguan neighbors“. That is at least, according to Dr. Ramiro Barrantes, an investigator at UCR’s Cellular and Molecular division that obviously has no clue what he is talking about.
Although the national census does have the any questions regarding ethnicity included on its form, according to Wikipedia 65.80% of Costa Ricans identify themselves as white, while actual science puts the number closer to 45%.
As it turns out Nicas are a full 24% whiter than us Ticos which just might explain why the Nazi temple in Cartago hasn’t seen a fresh coat of paint in at least twenty years.
The Real Difference
The real difference between Costa Rica and the rest of it’s Central America neighbors, Barrantes insist, is not race related at all but instead the amount of resources dedicated to education. Costa Rica as a country invest nearly five times the amount of money into the education of it’s population as it’s neighbors.
“There is no doubt that the educational system of Costa Rica has to first alphabetize all its people” Barrantes said to a confused reporter. “And it has nothing to do with race at all”.