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Province of Limon

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Puerto Limón, commonly known as Limón, is the capital city and main hub of Limón province, as well as of the cantón of Limón in Costa Rica. It is the second-largest city in Costa Rica after the capital, San José, with a population of over 55,000, and is home of a multicultural community. Part of the community traces its roots to Italian, Jamaican and Chinese laborers who worked on a late nineteenth-century railroad project that connected San José to Puerto Limón. Until 1948, the Costa Rican government did not recognize Afro-Caribbean people as citizens and restricted their movement outside Limón province. As a result of this "travel ban", this Afro-Caribbean population became firmly established in the region, which influenced the decision to not move even after it was legally permitted. The Afro-Caribbean community speaks Spanish and Limonese Creole, a creole of English.Puerto Limón contains two port terminals, Limón and Moín, which permit the shipment of Costa Rican exports as well as the anchoring of cruise ships. Health care is provided for the city by Hospital Dr. Tony Facio Castro. Two small islands, Uvita Island and Isla de Pájaros, are just offshore.HistoryEarly HistoryChristopher Columbus first dropped anchor in Costa Rica in 1502 at Isla Uvita, just off the coast of Puerto Limón. The Atlantic coast, however, was left largely unexplored by Spanish settlers until the 19th century.As early as 1569, Governor Perafán de Rivera gave extensive plots of land, Indians included, in Matina to aristocrats (hidalgos) that helped to finance and support early conquest. Because these aristocrats found out that only a few Indians were available to exploit, they had no choice but to acquire black slaves to plant these lands with cocoa trees (the only feasible crop in these lands). These lands provided the only source of income to the absentee owners from the capital city of Cartago. Matina gained importance because of the cacao and the presence of black slaves, which made them attractive to pirate incursions.
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