Rare Video Highlights Costa Rica as it Was in 1947

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Ever wonder what Costa Rica was like before Taco Bell, McDonald’s and Starbucks dotted the landscape? Check out this rare color video shot for James A. FitzPatrick’s “Travel Talks” series in 1947.

Starting at the Juan Santamaria International Airport – described as one of the best in the world – viewers are taken on a whirlwind tour of the country. At the time, San Jose had “around 70,000 inhabitants,” but today that figure has jumped to around 365,000.

The women of Costa Rica receive much praise and are described as being noted for their “culture, intelligence and personality.”

Apart from the well-educated women, Costa Rica’s roads are described (shockingly) as some of the “best in the world.” But if you have ever had to travel on a road in this country, you would realize that they probably haven’t been repaired since this video was shot. It is, however, nice to know that at one point in history, they didn’t contain potholes that could swallow a compact car.

We also hear about William Walker, the would-be American conquistador who, “with a band of brigands,” made himself dictator of Nicaragua and attempted to conquer Costa Rica. When he was killed, the US government paid a whopping $26,704 to Costa Rica for their troubles.

All in all, sounds like a nice place to visit! Check out the video for more and get a rare glimpse of Costa Rica as it once was.