Ministry of Culture and Youth presents the results of the First National Survey of Cultural Habits and Practices

Ministerio de Cultura y Juventud,
17 August 2012, Costa Rica

The Ministry of Culture and Youth (MCJ), headed by the Directorate of Culture (DGC), carried out the "First National Survey of Cultural Habits and Practices", and the results were announced on 17 August. This is the first study in Costa Rica in this field.

The survey was conducted with the primary objective of analyzing the cultural habits and practices of Costa Ricans older than 6 in order to produce cultural indicators to allow to determine the frequency and usage of cultural spaces by Costa Ricans and the time allocated to cultural activities, as well as to identify habits and cultural practices, according to socio-demographic characteristics at the national level in urban and rural areas as well as knowing the cultural facilities included in Costa Rican households.

This measurement also yielded information on trends, tastes, knowledge and attitudes of Costa Ricans about their traditions, celebrations, use of cultural spaces, and other issues. Similarly, it was possible to measure perceptions and evaluations with respect to culture and public participation in cultural activities.

Manuel Obregon, Minister of Culture and Youth, said: "This survey provides information that can extend and clarify the vision of the cultural reality of the country, offers data on user profiles, and what types of audiences are likely to be served through public policy. It also offers clarity on the socio demographics and interests of the population in terms of cultural goods and services in order to optimally guide the design of strategic development plans. "

"It is important to acknowledge the cooperation and support received from various international bodies, because thanks to them today we can present this document," the minister added.

 "The important thing to have this data collected is that it can help us to link the cultural policy closer to the Costa Rican reality.  Then we will be able to refine certain projects, or policies and achieve a greater proximity to the Costa Rican population," said Catalina Calvo, Director of Culture of the MCJ.

 "This is the first survey at the national level and even in Central America. Prior to this survey we did not have any instruments, or any source of information," said Calvo.

During the press conference for the results of the "First National Survey of Cultural Habits and Practices," Obregon mentioned the possibility that in 2013, the MCJ could make a second edition of the survey "The ideal thing would be that from this point on we could do his exercise every two years. This would allow us to verify the information regarding applied policies," said Calvo.


 According to the Directorate of Culture of MCJ, to sources used to develop the survey were the Census of Population and Housing 2000 carried out by the National Institute of Statistics and Censuses (INEC).

The people surveyed were Costa Ricans by birth, over 15 years old around the country with information of all the people over 6 living in the same household. The survey is nationally representative, said the DGC. The sample was 3.381 people.

The First National Survey of Cultural Habits and Practices, Costa Rica 2010-2011 permits to have a broad view of what works in reality. This information will then provide guidance for the design of strategic development plans, based on the real needs of Costa Ricans.

In the "I National Survey of Cultural Habits and Practices" 3.381 people were surveyed nationwide. The results have a confidence level of 95 percent, with an absolute error of 2.7 percentage points.

The results show that 79.9% of people attend traditional festivals but only 32.1% have visited a cultural center.  With regard to the views of individuals on cultural heritage conservation, the survey reveals the 44.2% indicated that national parks are a priority for conservation followed by traditions and customs (26.6%). In contrast, only 2.1% considered important to conserve dance and traditional music.

According to the data, the crafts that people are most aware of is pottery (12.7%). The most known traditional dance is el Punto Guanacasteco (43%).

Among the crafts that most people know, according to data from the survey highlight the pottery, with 12.7% yes. Meanwhile, dance best known for the Ticos is the point Guanacaste, with 43%, compared with the Dance of the devils, who knows only 1.2% of respondents. The most popular dish is Gallo Pinto (51.8%) while tamales are consumed only by 3.6% of Costa Ricans.

International Cooperation.

The "First National Survey of Cultural Habits and Practices" is an initiative by the Directorate General of Culture of MCJ, as part of the Window on Culture and Development: "Intercultural Policies for Inclusion and Generating Opportunities", United Nations with the Spanish Trust Fund, through UNESCO. The Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID Mexico) subsequently joined the process through the Culture and Integration Program, which provides support to Central American countries on issues on cultural surveys, indicators and cultural information systems.

The analysis of the results was conducted by Ana Cecilia Montilla, independent consultant and Carlos Avalos, statistical analyst from CONACULTA. The whole process was supervised by officials of the DGC, led by Mario Marin and Marianela Sanchez Camacho Badilla, both sociologists of this body of MCJ.

 Structure and organization of research

Modules - "I National Survey of Cultural Habits and Practices 2010"

1.Use of cultural spaces
a. libraries

b. bookstores

c. museums

d. Works of Art

e. Live Music

f. Cinema

g. Cultural Centers

h. Traditional Festivals

i. Distances


2.Immaterial heritage


a. radio

b. TV

c. Internet

d. Computers without Internet

e. recorded Music



6.Cultural habits of the family

7.Values, opinions on customs and traditions. We focus on the opinion of the customs and traditions, and their opinion about the institution that manages the culture.


8. Cultural artifacts are home