What made Costa Rica a democracy ? Coffee. The first plants were imported in 1808 from Jamaica. When Costa Rica was a federation , the first export was in 1820 , the vision of a man called Braulio Carrillo, chief of the state.  He offered free to all the farmers a small amount of coffee plants, and told them that the goverment would buy all the production, this created a free enterprise, and everyone had their own business,  unlike other countries in the area who had rich spanish immigants who created large farms. This is the base of the economy , and the number one reason why Costa Rica has held strong against socialist intruders. Interesting ? 

In 1948, Costa Rica became the first country in the world to abolish it's military. This helped the country by taking the money that would have been used for military and investing it in health and education. Many people have stated that this is the reason for Costa Rica's higher development compared to other Central American countries. This also explains their peaceful nature.