The history of Costa Rica takes us back to 1502 when Christopher Columbus discovered the country. At that time, only a few indigenous tribes lived here, and most of them were devasted by European diseases. In the mid-sixteenth century, Spain conquered Costa Rica but, the country remained poor for several years. This was followed by the struggle for independence which Central America gained in 1821. And in 1838, Costa Rica became a separate state. After this, the country started trading coffee which brought wealth in the country. The twentieth century was peaceful, and first democratic elections were also held. A civil war took place, and many people died, after which a new constitution was published in 1949. Costa Rica has evolved over the years, and today it is much developed and financially stable country. Now, besides coffee, it is an exporter of bananas, sugar and beef.