Ticos and Ticas –that is the way how Costa Rica’s local people call themselves. Since they like to add an -ico/-ica on the ending of most sentences this name was invented.
Let’s list a few facts about Ticos (Men) /Ticas (Women) that you should be aware of before traveling to Costa Rica:
Costa Rica is the 1st ranking country with the happiest people on mother earth according to the “Happy Planet Index”. This could be because of the minimum wage that is actually higher than in most other countries in Central- and South America, or because they live in such a beautiful country full of nature and amazing landscapes or because it is just the way they are. Open minded, friendly and with a passion for living. Also if you ask them for the way they do not hesitate to help you.
Pura Vida. This phrase also describes the way Ticos/as live. It means “Pure Life” but as locals literally use it all the time, it means everything and nothing. Whether they want to greet a good friend, a family member or a foreigner or to use it as an impression that they are grateful. – “Hello”, “Nice to meet you”, “Thank you”.
Fútbol. Soccer has a significant relevance in Costa Rica. It is the kind of sport that cheers up the locals. It does not matter if it is the national team also called “Los Ticos” or a local team. Also European soccer clubs are really famous here. So it is worth to visit at least once a soccer game in the stadium.
80 to 90 percent of Costa Rica’s inhabitants are Christians. Religion is important for most Costa Ricans and they have strong beliefs in God. Also it is really common to say “Que Dios te acompañe”, “gracias a Dios”, or “si Dios quiere” – God will be with you, thanks to God, if God wants. During holy week you will see lots of houses that are decorated with a wooden cross covered in a purple fabric. Ceremonies and parades will be held and in some provinces it is forbidden to sell alcohol. However, that does not mean that there are also locals who are not religious at all.
Ticos are really kind people but when it comes to driving it is another thing. Take care whenever crossing the street on foot or driving a car especially in traffic jams.
Try to speak Spanish. Every Costa Rican will appreciate it and help you out if words are missing in your Spanish vocabulary. They will speak with you slowly so you understand them better. However, in most tourist places in Costa Rica locals can speak English. Anyways it is a good exercise to practice your Spanish, break the ice with a local and be more involved into the local life.
So hopefully after this article you know a little bit more about Ticos and the culture here. Please contact us to design the best vacation in Costa Rica. As I said before, we really like to help you out.