Costa Rica, officially the Republic of Costa Rica (Spanish: Costa Rica or República de Costa Rica, pronounced [reˈpuβlika ðe ˈkosta ˈrika]) is a country in Central America, bordered by Nicaragua to the north, Panama to the east and south, the Pacific Ocean to the west and south and the Caribbean Sea to the east.
Costa Rica, which translates literally as “Rich Coast”, was the first country in the world to constitutionally abolish its army. Costa Rica has consistently been among the top Latin American countries in the Human Development Index, ranking 50th in 2006. The country is ranked 5th in the world, and 1st among the Americas, in terms of the 2008 Environmental Performance Index. In 2007 the Costa Rican government announced plans for Costa Rica to become the first carbon neutral country by 2021. According to the New Economics Foundation, Costa Rica ranks first in the Happy Planet Index and is the greenest country in the world. The HPI measures how much of the Earth’s resources nations use and how long and happy a life their citizens enjoy as a result.