Chorotega of Guanacaste Region and Nicoya Peninsula; and Bribri (Bri Bri) of Talamanca Region are now the Indigenous Muslims of Costa Rica
The Bribri are an indigenous people of Costa Rica. They live in theTalamanca (canton) in Limón Province of Costa Rica. They speak the Bribri languageand Spanish. There are varying estimates of the population of the tribe. According to a census by the Ministerio de Salud, there are 11,500 Bribri living within service range of the Hone Creek Clinic alone. They are a voting majority in the Puerto Viejo de Talamanca area. Other estimates of tribal population in Costa Rica range much higher, reaching 35,000.
Visitors to Costa Rica’s northwest region probably don’t realize the area was once a thriving community for the indigenous Chorotega tribe. Indigenous history and traditions maintain a low profile in the Central American country, yet if you look closely they are all around you.
Spreading across Costa Rica’s entire northern Pacific zone, Guanacaste, for instance, is called the “Chorotega region” after its original inhabitants. The Nicoya Peninsula is named for a Chorotega chief who ruled the area when the Spanish conquistadors arrived in Costa Rica in 1523.
At the time of the Spanish conquest, the Chorotega were the largest and most technologically advanced tribe in Costa Rica, according to Encyclopedia Britannica and other historical reports. The tribe, whose name means “people surrounded by enemies”, were driven by warfare from Central Mexico many generations before the Spanish arrived and settled in southern Nicaragua, Guanacaste and the Nicoya Peninsula.