In the late 1940s, uncomfortable with the growing military industry in the United States, the Meeting of Friends in Fairhope, Alabama decided that they could not remain in the US and pay their taxes toward the war effort. In 1949, four young men in the group were sentenced to a year in prison when, as conscientious objectors, they refused to register for the draft. They were released after four months and, upon completing their parole period, in November 1950 the group of forty-four Quakers, comprising eleven families, left their northern homes and came to Costa Rica. They chose this tiny Central American country largely for its farming potential and pleasant climate, but they had also read the words of Pepe Figueres, the Costa Rican president at the time, inviting foreigners to come and help develop this country. Perhaps most attractive for the Friends though was the fact that Costa Rica had just abolished its own army and these pacifists felt they could live in peace here.
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