The Indigenous Peoples of Costa Rica (Draft #1)

This topic submitted by Emily Vaas ( at 9:56 AM on 3/28/06.

This barracuda coasts above the corals at Molasses Reef, Key Largo, Florida.

Tropical Field Courses -Western Program-Miami University

The Indigenous Peoples of Costa Rica

I. History of the colonization of Costa Rica
A. The original inhabitants of Costa Rica
1) Bribri
2) Boruca
3) Cabecar
B. Spanish Conquistadores beginning with Columbus in 1502
1) Accounts of ColumbusÕs visit and the riches he found
2) Diego de Nicuesa
3) Gil Gonz‡lez Davila
a) Naming of Costa Rica
4) Disease from the Europeans and the effects on the Costa
Rican Indians
5) Juan V‡squez de Coronado
C. Liberation of Costa Rica
II. Indigenous groups and dispersion within Costa Rica
A. Race/Class distinctions (Indigenous/Ticos/Black)
B. Ethnicity
C. Religion
D. Talamanca Mountains of southern Costa Rica
III. Indigenous livelihood in Costa Rica today
A. Income/Economic status
B. Struggles
1) Alcoholism
2) Encroachment onto reservations
a) Mining/Banana companies
IV. National Commission for Indigenous Affairs (CONAI)
A. Why it was created
B. Benefits of this organization
C. Criticisms of organization
V. Bribri

I am interested in teaching the class about the indigenous peoples of Costa Rica, specifically the origin of the colonization of this country by the Spanish and the effects this had upon the indigenous peoples. I will begin by giving a general overview of the history of the peoples of Costa Rica and the move onto the specifics of the peoples and the struggles that they face. I will end with a specific look at the Bribri so that we all will have a better understanding of these people when we meet them. I believe it is important to know the area and people that we join so that we enter, not as "tourists" and visitors, but as friends and fellow human beings.

References so far

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