Colorful montage of various illustrated characters and pop culture.

Politicians

Oscar Arias Sánchez

Two-time President of Costa Rica and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Oscar Arias Sánchez is akin to a political heavyweight that’s more peacekeeper than pugilist. He’s the chap who thought Central America should probably stop fighting, and the world agreed—thus, he inked the Esquipulas Peace Agreement.

Laura Chinchilla Miranda

Laura Chinchilla Miranda broke the glass ceiling and possibly a few machismo spirits by becoming Costa Rica’s first female president in 2010. She’s remembered for pushing green policies and being tough on crime—kind of like a superhero, but with more legislation and less spandex.

José Figueres Ferrer

The man who abolished the army and gave everyone a high-five for democracy, José Figueres Ferrer is a three-time president who’s still the poster child for Costa Rican progressivism. If you’re at a bar in San José and want to impress, drop his name and watch the nods of approval.

Singers and Musicians

Debi Nova

Grammy-nominated and with moves that could probably start a small earthquake, Debi Nova is Costa Rica’s pop powerhouse. She’s performed with Black Eyed Peas, so you could say she’s the gal who brought the ‘Pura Vida’ vibes to the global pop scene.

Editus

Winning a Grammy is no small feat, unless you’re Editus, who probably use their award as a paperweight. This instrumental band fuses jazz, classical, and Latin flavors in a way that can only be described as the sound of Costa Rica in a symphony.

Chavela Vargas

Born in Costa Rica but adopted by Mexico, Chavela Vargas is a ranchera singer who made somber sound sexy. She’s like the godmother of heartbreak—turn to her songs when you need a good wallow or a reminder of what passion sounds like.

Actors and Actresses

Harry Shum Jr.

You might know him as the guy with the killer dance moves from "Glee", but Harry Shum Jr. is also a proud Tico. Born in Limón, he’s proof that Costa Rica’s export isn’t just coffee; it’s also prime-time talent.

Madeleine Stowe

With a last name like Stowe, you wouldn’t guess she’s Costa Rican, but actress Madeleine Stowe has roots that reach back to the land of eternal spring. She’s the kind of actress who can steal a scene with a glance—possibly a skill honed while dodging monkeys in the rainforest.

Maribel Guardia

Maribel Guardia is a walking billboard for Costa Rica’s genetic jackpot. Actress, singer, and former Miss Costa Rica, she’s a timeless beauty who’s graced telenovelas with as much drama as a tropical thunderstorm.

Athletes

Keylor Navas

When Keylor Navas defends the goal, he’s not just blocking soccer balls; he’s holding up national pride. His goalkeeping is so artful it belongs in a museum, preferably one with a bar for celebrating his saves.

Claudia Poll

If you think swimming is just about not drowning, Claudia Poll will change your mind. She’s an Olympic gold medalist who swims faster than most people run, which is quite rude to those of us who consider floating an achievement.

Hanna Gabriels

Boxer Hanna Gabriels punches so hard, she could probably knock out your tax issues. She’s a world champion who brings the ‘Tica’ tough to the ring, and honestly, who wouldn’t want her in their corner?

Writers and Poets

Fabián Dobles

Fabián Dobles is the literary grandfather you wish you had, penning stories that are so Costa Rican, they practically come with a side of gallo pinto. His works encapsulate the rural soul of the country and are best savored slowly, like a good cup of coffee.

Quince Duncan

An author and activist, Quince Duncan is the voice that reminds Costa Rica that it has an Afro-Caribbean heartbeat. His novels are a cocktail of culture, history, and social commentary—with a twist of enlightenment.

Eunice Odio

Eunice Odio wrote poetry so potent, you might need a moment to recover after reading. She’s the kind of poet who could make a shopping list look profound, casting words like spells that reveal the depth of human experience.

Artists and Designers

Francisco Amighetti

Francisco Amighetti could make even a sloth look lively in his art. He’s the printmaker and painter who captured the essence of Costa Rican life without a single Instagram filter—talk about raw talent.

Rafa Fernández

Rafa Fernández is a visual storyteller whose canvases are more captivating than a telenovela finale. His work is vibrant, whimsical, and could probably convince you that magic realism started in Costa Rica.

Fabio Herrera

When Fabio Herrera puts brush to canvas, the result is often a mind-bending journey through color and form. Think of his art as a visual representation of a Costa Rican carnival—minus the risk of stepping on a stray empanada.

Influencers and Social Media Stars

Marilin Gamboa

Marilin Gamboa is the influencer you follow for a slice of Costa Rican glam. She’s the trendy aunt of social media, always ready to show off the latest fashion, albeit with a pura vida flair.

Daniel LaBelle

Not Costa Rican by birth but by marriage, Daniel LaBelle is the humorist who could make a statue laugh. His TikToks are a masterclass in physical comedy, so it’s no surprise he’s married to a Tica—Costa Ricans understand the value of a good chuckle.

Nancy Dobles

Nancy Dobles is the TV presenter turned influencer who’s as comfortable in front of a camera as most are on their sofas. She’s the kind of media personality who brings authenticity to a platform often criticized for its lack of the same.

Entrepreneurs and Innovators

Franklin Chang-Díaz

Former NASA astronaut and physicist Franklin Chang-Díaz is the guy who looked at the stars and said, "I’ll be right there." He’s a propulsion wizard, working on technology that might just get us to Mars with time to spare for sightseeing.

Christiana Figueres

When it comes to fighting climate change, Christiana Figueres doesn’t just talk the talk; she walks the walk—even if that walk is sometimes underwater due to rising sea levels. She’s a key architect of the Paris Agreement, making her as much of a global thermostat as an influencer.

José Alberto “Pepe” Figueres

You could call José Alberto “Pepe” Figueres the tech-savvy offspring of Costa Rica’s political dynasty. He’s a serial entrepreneur who treats start-ups like potato chips—one is never enough.