ISLAM and MUSLIMS IN COSTA RICA

      

    General Information

National name             : República de Costa Rica

Land area                    : 19,560 sq mi (50,660 sq km); total area: 19,730 sq mi (51,100 sq km)

Population (2007 est.) : 4,133,884

Capital and largest city (2003 est.): San José, 1,527,300 (metro. area), 337,200 (city proper)

Monetary unit             : Colón

Languages                   : Spanish (official), English

Ethnicity/race              : white (including mestizo) 94%, black 3%, Amerindian 1%, Chinese 1%, other 1%

Religion                       : Roman Catholic 76%, Evangelical 14%, Jehovah's Witnesses 1%, other Protestant 1%, other 5%, none 3%

Literacy rate                : 96% (2003 est.)

Economic summary     : GDP/PPP (2005 est.): $50.89 billion; per capita $12,500. Real growth rate: 7.9%. Inflation: 12.1%.

  This Central American country lies between Nicaragua to the north and Panama to the south. It has a narrow Pacific coastal region. Cocos Island (10 sq mi; 26 sq km), about 300 mi (483 km) off the Pacific Coast, is under Costa Rican sovereignty.

  Costa Rica was inhabited by an estimated 400,000 Indians when Columbus explored it in 1502. The Spanish conquest began in 1524. The region grew slowly and was administered as a Spanish province. Costa Rica achieved independence in 1821 but was absorbed for two years by Agustín de Iturbide in his Mexican empire. It became a republic in 1848. Except for the military dictatorship of Tomás Guardia from 1870 to 1882, Costa Rica has enjoyed one of the most democratic governments in Latin America.

  In the 1970s, rising oil prices, falling international commodity prices, and inflation hurt the economy. Efforts have since been made to reduce reliance on coffee, banana, and beef exports. Tourism is now a major business. Óscar Arias Sánchez, who became president in 1986, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1987 for his role in negotiating settlements to both the Nicaraguan and the Salvadoran civil wars.

 Islamic History and Muslims

    There are approximately 500 Muslim in Costa Rica.  The most population Muslim is from middle east, but  converted Muslim number increases. There are a number of Islamic organizations in San José including the Centro Islámico (Masjid Omar) de Costa Rica led by Dr. Abdulfatah Sasa Mahmoud, al-Markaz (Dawa-e-Tabligh) in Desampardos and the Centro Cultural Musulmán de Costa Rica in Alajuela.

New Muslim Stories

Rashida Jenny Torres

Assalamu alaikum


   I am Costa Rican Muslim convert 5 years back, and my husband is Muslim Argentinean 8 years back.   After the 9/11 in USA, all the news on my country only talk about that, and well, that time I have for first time computer and internet at home.  I was all my life prior Catholic fanatic and How I only hear "ALL" the Muslims are bad and terrorist I was very scare about that.  But I have how rule in my life try to fight with all the things I fear.  Then, I start to look information about:  What is Islam?  What things them believe?.  When I find things how:   "The Muslims don't support the terrorism"   "The rights from women Muslimas" I was really, never I can think before that is possible.  I believe on that time all the Muslims only like war, fight, kill, and I imagine the women are how slaves (especially I can't accept on that time why them need to use hijab). 
    Then I start to chat with Muslims (with my bad English) around to the world, feeling first very exciting, scare  and with very questions about all, very much from theirs was very respect, and how I was using camera sometimes, someone told me:  try no use lipstick red, no use clothes stretch on your body, don't laugh very hard, don't make-up front others, respect God because is only one and he is the king of the Universe, but the thing more amazing for me was when if I was chatting with someone Muslim, he told me:  "please wait me, I need go to to pray". Really I never know one man can tell me that before, then when I start to ask: how pray you?  theirs tray to explained to me how is necessary wash the body from to be clean on the body and after on the soul, and how theirs are on the floor thankful with Allah,  the respect the family, the good jealous from the wife and daughters...well, all that things do I start to think, maybe are not good on my life, because I was on my Church all the time, trying to give the best from me but I felt all time, all the things my religion give me to me are lights, liars, I cant support see how the priest have corruption, rape children, and I decide after 3 years leave the religion Catholic because I felt really ashamed to be catholic. 

     I became to think what religion I can practice because really  I like to be with the other people and all I know in my country are not enough from me I felt anyone I know here can to be the best for me, then, alhamdulillah, how a little light on my mind, a little voice on my head told me:  "Why not try in The Islam?  Remember how you are a admirer all the things theirs believe and practice", then I look where can to be here one Masjid, I called to Masjid and took address, and just the same moment I saw the Masjid without enter, I told myself:  That is my way, my religion, now I feel that I am somebody...I enter and take the shahada, I started to use the hijab on every place where I am, on my job.

 Islamic Centers and Organizations

Organization Name

Address

Phone-Fax-Email-Web

General Information

Musulmanes De Costa Rica Musulmanes De Costa Rica
San Jose, Sur, Desamparados , Costa Rica
jessica_yasmina@hotmail.com 
musulmanesdecostarica@yahoo.com
 

Dawah

Centro Islamico
 
Centro Islamico
Dasamprados Casa 7-16.,San Jose, Costa Rica
 506-240-4872
          -

Dawah

Muslim Mens Association of Curacao
 
Muslim Mens Association of Curacao
Wegnaar Welgelegen 6-Curacao N.A., Curacao, Costa Rica

5999-5602773
5999 7372140

Dawah

Community Islamic From Costa Rica
 
Community Islamic From Costa Rica
Alajuela, Costa Rica,Alajuela, Alajuela , COSTA RICA

506 8325 38 05
            -
jtorres_1969@hotmail.com
musulmanesdecostarica@yahoo.com 
Http://groups.msn.com/musulmanesdecostarica

Dawah

Musulmanas Costarricenses Por La Paz
 
Musulmanas Costarricenses Por La Paz
San José, Costa Rica
jakarla104@yahoo.com Family classes
Centro Cultural Musulman De Costa Rica. Mezquita De Omar
 
Centro Cultural Musulman De Costa Rica. Mezquita De Omar
Montelimar Guadalupe San José,San José, San José Apdo 608-2050, Costa Rica
(506)-2261980
(506)2865725
abduflo@ice.co.cr
Mosque and Islamic Center
Centro Islámico De Costa Rica
 
Centro Islámico De Costa Rica
Apartado Postal 3624-1000 San José, Costa Rica
(506) 226 1980
(506) 293 4043
Islamic Center
Centro Islamico
 
Centro Islamico
Guadelupe Montelimar, De La Corporación Farah: 500m Al Este Y 100m Al Norte San José - Costa Rica
(506) 224 8327
(506) 285 4845
Islamic Center
Centro Cultural Musulmán De Costa Rica
 
Centro Cultural Musulmán De Costa Rica
Apartado Postal 608-2050,San Jose, Ca, Costa Rica
506-240 4872
506 240 4872
                                                      Islamic Center
Pura Vida Language Institute
 
Pura Vida Language Institute
San Joaquin De Flores,San Jose, Heredia , Costa Rica
506-256-3149
        -
info@puravidalanguageinstitute.com
Spanish and English courses
Estambul Panederia
 
Estambul Panederia
Plaza Vikes,San Jose, Costa Rica
506-222-8275
serpilarslan19600@hotmail.com
 Pita Bread, Turkish Bread and Desert Products

References
Islam in Costa Rica (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islam_in_Costa_Rica, May, 2008).
Info please (http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0107430.html, May, 2008).
Islam Finder (http://www.islamicfinder.org/cityPrayerNew.php?country=Costa_Rica  May, 2008).
Anonymous, Documents from Representatives of Islamic Organizations in Costa Rica, May, 2008.