Tuesday, 4 October 2016
Costa rica and Spanish
Accounts differ as to whether the name la costa rica (Spanish for "rich coast") was first applied by Christopher Columbus, who sailed to the eastern shores of Costa Rica during his final voyage in 1502, and reported the presence of vast quantities of gold jewelry among the natives, or by the conquistador Gil González Dávila, who landed on the west coast in 1522, met with the natives, and appropriated some of their gold.
The Ujarrás historical site in the Orosí Valley, Cartago province. The church was built between 1686 and 1693.
During most of the colonial period, Costa Rica was the southernmost province of the Captaincy General of Guatemala, which was nominally part of the Viceroyalty of New Spain, but which, in practice, operated as a largely autonomous entity within the Spanish Empire. Costa Rica's distance from the capital in Guatemala, its legal prohibition under Spanish law to trade with its southern neighbors in Panama, then part of the Viceroyalty of New Granada (i.e. Colombia), and the lack of resources such as gold and silver, made Costa Rica into a poor, isolated, and sparsely inhabited region within the Spanish Empire. Costa Rica was described as "the poorest and most miserable Spanish colony in all America" by a Spanish governor in 1719.