Costa Rica and El Silencio: A Story of Economic Development for Students

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Costa Rica’s decision to eliminate its military and channel funds into environmental protection and public services has aided in its success. GDP per capita has grown, extreme poverty has been almost eradicated, and it remains a popular destination for tourists. However, the benefits do not trickle down to everyone in Costa Rica. For example, the remote village of El Silencio does not benefit much from tourism. To strengthen its economy, the village created a cooperative and employed an alternative local currency, the Udi, with mixed success. Costa Rica and El Silencio are real-world contexts for applying multiple economic themes.

Melanie Marks and Jennifer Miskec