Costa Rica. On February 10, the amnesty period aimed at
regulating the country's many illegal immigrants expired.
Most of them, at least half a million, are Nicaraguan, and
amnesty is said to have covered at least 160,000 of them.
Prior to the end of the amnesty period, new immigrants
poured in over the difficult-to-monitor boundary, leading to
total entry stops for Nicaraguan people. The fact that Costa
Rica attracts immigrants from other Central American
countries is partly because Costa Rica, unlike Nicaragua and
Honduras, escapes the fateful hurricane Mitch in 1997, but
mainly because Costa Rica is a brilliant economic exception
in the region. According to
Countryaah official website, the country had Latin America's second
highest growth rate in 1998, and inflation, unemployment and
poverty are declining while real wages and investments are