May 17, 1999

Dear Mom,

I'm in Costa Rica. I've found out a lot of information for you. The first thing is the temperature is mostly cloudy and rainy. The highest temperature when I was here is 90 . There are lots of tropical wet climates. Sometimes it is dry but mostly it is wet like a Rain forest. When you come you should bring shorts, T-shirts, some pants, and a long sleeve shirt for at night.

The population here is 3,534,174. Starting from the age of an infant up to 14 years old there are 496-620 males. For a female it would be 229-591. 15-64 would be 1,120-118 for a male. A female would be 1,093-99. For 65 years and over 82,893-96,737. Yes, that is right, there are a lot of old people in Costa Rica. The life span in Costa Rica for a male is 73 years of age and for a woman it is 78 years of age.

The main language is Spanish. But don’t worry, if you go to Costa Rica's capital, San Jose, they speak English and Spanish. I think we should go to a school to learn Spanish or have a person teach us who knows Spanish.

Some of the foods that are in Costa Rica are coffee, bananas, sugar, cacao, beans, and tobacco. All those things that I have mentioned are some of the main crops in Costa Rica. Their typical meals are good. For breakfast they have what is called a "Gallo pinto", That is a mixture of rice and beans. For lunch they have what would be a Casado, That is a mixture of rice beans, meat and plantain. For Dinner they would mostly have tortillas. So I guess you can say that Costa Rica’s main crop is "beans".

Some places that you have to visit when you come are the capital San Jose. It is like a big city with lots of people around it. It is very crowded you would not like it. There are people in the streets selling stuff, like water, foods, cloths, and gifts. Another place is Pureto Limon. That is another place where English is spoken. I am not sure of this but I do not think that Spanish is spoken in all of Pureto Limon.

The health here seems to be very good. There is lots of disease but the hospitals and doctors are very good. Some common medical problems are dengue fever that is found almost all over Costa Rica. That is a tropical disease cause by arbovirus then gets transmitted by mosquitoes. Then you get a very high fever. There are lots of mosquitoes. Some of them are even deadly. Dysenter and typhoid are found out of San Jose, I'm not sure what they are but I am positive that they are very bad and easy to catch.

Some of the customs here are that they celebrate all the holidays. They are very polite people, gentle and loving people. Some of the things that they do not accept are bad behavior, weak working,{as in not working strongly}and making too much noise. These people value quietness and peace.

Well, I think that I have told you just about everything that I know. All the things that I have found out are in this letter.

Love always,

P.S. Never drink the water here it is not healthy for you.J