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Volcanic mountains—several of which produce sporadic eruptions— run northwest to southeast, dividing Costa Rica into Pacific and Atlantic zones. The capital, San José, is on the meseta central, a plateau twenty-five miles by twelve miles (40 kilometers by 20 kilometers).
Despite this "exceptionalism," the country shares many social, economic, and environmental problems with its neighbors. As much as 95 percent of Costa Ricans consider themselves "white." "Whiteness" figures importantly in national identity.
Moín, north of Limón, has container and petroleum facilities.
Costa Rica's broken topography creates myriad microenvironments.
Temperature varies with altitude, averaging over 86 degrees Fahrenheit (30 degrees Celsius) in the coastal lowlands, but only 64 degrees Fahrenheit (18 degrees Celsius) at the higher elevations.
The Atlantic zone receives trade winds and has high rainfall year-round.
Natives with "golden mirrors around their necks" told of "many places . Costa Ricans are called ticos, which derives from their appending the Spanish -ico diminutive to the standard -ito. Costa Rica is located in Central America with Nicaragua to its north and Panama to its south.