May 9th, 2010
05:23 AM ET

Costa Rica inaugurates first female president

Costa Rica's first female president pledged to reach out to citizens and not favor special interest groups during her swearing-in ceremony.

Laura Chinchilla, 50, took the oath of office Saturday. She was elected in February with 47 percent of the vote.

Chinchilla replaces former Nobel laureate and her mentor Oscar Arias, who praised Costa Ricans for recognizing that a woman is capable of leading the country.

In her inaugural address, the new president vowed to move the country toward a more innovating, intelligent and entrepreneurial path.

Chinchilla, who will serve a four-year term, holds a master's degree in public administration from Georgetown University and served as vice president between 2006 and 2008.

Post by:
Filed under: World
soundoff (47 Responses)
  1. Ellen

    my sister visited Costa Rica and sent me pics. It is an awsome country, wish I could see it. Congratulations to the new President.

    May 9, 2010 at 6:59 am | Report abuse |
  2. Elastic

    Is she getting free American health care like the rest of her country?

    May 9, 2010 at 7:29 am | Report abuse |
  3. Grace

    Hey Costa Rica must be a very nice country. It's beautiful for sure, and their people all get free health care too? Elastic must be a moron, Costa Rica isn't and was never a part of the USA. A woman President who is well-educated, a country which got rid of it's army, and has never had wars? And thousands of Americans retiring or investing down there? Very cool.

    May 9, 2010 at 7:36 am | Report abuse |
  4. kevin

    Elastic, like so many people that post comments about news atricles, you really should know what you are talking about before you make comments like that. Costa Rica has a pretty nice health care system of their own for a Central American country of it's size. Full of natural resources and the people are very hard working and proud. I would bet you couldn't even point it out on a map!

    May 9, 2010 at 7:38 am | Report abuse |
  5. Phil

    Costa Rica does have socialized health care, but it is not free.
    The system is called CAJA and Residents of Costa Rica are required to join. We just received Residency status for Costa Rica 1 month ago and joined while we were in CR. It cost our family of 4 (myself, wife, 2 boys) around 70 US Dollars per month. There are also other medical facilities that are not part of CAJA where you would go to have a procedure performed if you did not want to use the Free CAJA system.
    We wanted dual residency so that we could stay in CR without having to leave every 90 days like those that are visiting on a Tourist Visa.

    May 9, 2010 at 7:47 am | Report abuse |
  6. Dr_Noo

    Spent a week in San Jose CR about 25 years ago. Nice people and beautiful country. Congrats to the President.

    May 9, 2010 at 7:51 am | Report abuse |
  7. levend

    Hope one day the US too has a female president! Well done Costa Rica hope she exceeds your expectations.

    May 9, 2010 at 7:57 am | Report abuse |
  8. Capellades

    Costa Rica es PURA VIDA!

    May 9, 2010 at 8:07 am | Report abuse |
  9. Emilio

    I hope she keeps out the likes of that pedophile drug-addled clown from right wing radio, the own to whom the Republican Party pays such great obeisance.

    May 9, 2010 at 8:22 am | Report abuse |
  10. artistic soul

    Very proud that my home country chose a female president! I wish I could be there to see this. Nevertheless, this is a great moment in Costa Rica. I hope one day we see a female president in the USA.

    May 9, 2010 at 8:28 am | Report abuse |
  11. Ike

    Costa Rica has a tax system that is roughly 10% of the highest earners.
    Good old Uncle Sam still gets thier ( pound of flesh ) on all monies earned (out of country)
    over $80,000 per year.
    Costa Rica has the best system of Goverment I have ever seen.They don't wait 5 to 10 yrs. on a FDA approval, so drugs, hospitals, doctors are inexpensive.
    The medical and dental is some of the best in the world.
    I will be living there very shortly.

    May 9, 2010 at 8:28 am | Report abuse |
  12. Figueres

    PURA VIDA MAE! I love America my home country, but I already decided that when I finish with grad school I'll be moving to Costa Rica and possibly seeking residency. I'm fluent in Spanish, but if you just make an effort to speak their language you'll find that the Ticos are some of the most hospitable and spirited people you'll ever meet. CR also has awesome weather and it just ranked as the country with the longest life expectancy in the world. Sure they have their own problems, but the positives far outweigh the negatives. And about healthcare... I was a tourist and got sick, and the CAJA treated me FREE OF CHARGE for a 2-day stay in the hospital! It can all be yours for just $300 and a 2 hour flight from Florida. Tuanis!

    May 9, 2010 at 8:44 am | Report abuse |
  13. foxglove

    Costa Rica is a wonderful place to visit. It is truly unspoiled and clean. They did away with their military several years back and that money is poured in to Education and Healthcare. A wise investment.

    May 9, 2010 at 8:55 am | Report abuse |
  14. foxglove

    Give yourself a treat and visit Costa Rica. You can get a 10 day tour for around $1,000 that includes lodging and all food. Airfare from Miami is around $500. A great place to visit with very little crime. The people are very nice and pleasant. Congrats to the new president.

    May 9, 2010 at 8:59 am | Report abuse |
  15. Cathy Kayser

    Costa Rica is ahead of the US! The US can't even nominate a woman as a presidential candidate. Hillary would have been a much better president than Obama.

    May 9, 2010 at 9:11 am | Report abuse |
    • cbro

      ya she sure would have

      June 4, 2010 at 9:03 pm | Report abuse |
1 2 3