Afro-Costa Ricans wearing their traditional dress celebrating their African roots. It is amazing how South American blacks and the CARICOM`s never forget their African ancestry!! Some researchers have stated that around 95% of the Costa Rican population has some native or African ancestry. Franklin Parker in his Central American Republics (1964) writes “In the highland basins about the capital a great majority of the persons are European in stock - wholly so in some instances, in others only preponderantly so with a trace of Indian or Negro also present”. Although it is true that some do not have any native or African ancestry, to claim that the population of Costa Rica is “98% white” is a misrepresentation of the facts.
Costa Rica is the only country in Central America that has long promoted itself as a “white nation”. This has been done mainly by the Costa Rican government and through its tourist office. The figure usually given is that between 96% to 98% of the total population is of European Spanish ancestry. Most North American almanacs and encyclopedias show one of these figures or a combined figure of “97% white and mestizo”. The latter not giving the reader an indication as to what percentage of the population is “white” and what percentage mestizo.