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Costa Rica/San Jose
San José is divided into 11 districts : Catedral, Carmen, Hatillo, Hospital, Uruca, Mata Redonda, Merced, Pavas, San Francisco de Dos Ríos, San Sebastián, Zapote. The districts are divided up into a number of neighborhoods
San José is the capital of Costa Rica, head of the province of San José, and the nation’s largest city. Located in the Central Valley, San José is the seat of national government, the focal point of political and economic activity, and the major transportation hub of this Central American nation. The population of San José Canton is 288,054, though the metropolitan area stretches beyond the canton limits and comprises a third of the country’s population.Culturally, the city can be considered almost entirely European influenced, in part because of Spanish immigration soon after Costa Rica’s discovery by Christopher Columbus, and the privileged classes which generally studied in Europe during the nineteenth century and early twentieth century. This can be seen in the architecture of the city, namely theatres, museums and houses in the city centre. It is named in honor of Joseph of Nazareth.Though few people live in the city center, it is the most important working area of the country, which brings in more than a million people daily. Despite its problems, according to studies in Latin America, San José is still one of the safest and least violent cities in the region. In 2006 the city was appointed Ibero-American Capital of Culture.San José is also the sixth most important destination in Latin America, according to The MasterCard Global Destinations Cities Index 2012. In the global ranking, San Jose obtained the 15th position among the world’s top 20 fastest growing destination cities by visitor cross-border spending.
The population grew during the eighteenth century colonial planning, which was different from the traditional foundation plans of Spanish cities in the continent.
Founded in 1738 by order of Cabildo de León, its objective was to concentrate the scattered inhabitants of the Aserrí Valley. To do so, the construction of a chapel near the area known as La Boca del Monte was ordered, this was completed two years later. That year St. Joseph was chosen as parish patron, hence its current name. The chapel, which was very modest, was erected with help from the church of Cartago.San Jose had water problems, and that was one of the main reasons that the population grew slowly. However, the water supply was assured by ditches, and the fertility of the surrounding fields along with the installation of the Tobacco Factory of Costa Rica, which would aide urban concentration.
As San Jose, unlike what happened to Cartago, was not founded with a formal act of foundation, it was not considered as a city or town, and consequently the city lacked a city government. It was not until the enactment of the Constitution of Cadiz in 1812 when San Jose had its first city government. In 1813, the Spanish parliament gave the town the title of city, which was then lost in 1814 when Ferdinand VII of Spain annulled the proceedings by the courts. The municipal government was restored in 1820 with the title of city population.
San José is one of the youngest capital cities in Latin America by year of conception, though it was not named capital until 1823.
Today it is a modern city with bustling commerce, brisk expressions of art and architecture, and spurred by the country’s improved tourism industry, it is a significant destination and stopover for foreign visitors.San José exerts a strong influence because of its proximity to other cities (Alajuela, Heredia and Cartago) and the country’s demographic assemblage in the Central Valley.