Costa Ricans (Ticos) use this term to say hello, to say goodbye, to say everything’s great, to say everything’s cool. This is the Ticos way of life. Not surprisingly, Costa Rica has been named one of the happiest countries in the world, mostly because its inhabitants don’t get too stressed about things in general. Ticos have a very relaxed, simple way of looking at life. No worries, no fuss, no stress.
But where did Costa Ricans take this phrase from? According to a study of the expression, by Anna Marie Trester a film called Pura vida came to Costa Rica from Mexico in 1956, directed by Gilberto Martinez Solares. In the movie, “Pura vida“ is the expression of eternal optimism used by a comic character knowed as “Clavillazo”, played by the actor Antonio Espino, who unfortunately can’t seem to do anything right. People started using it then, and it kept growing until the phrase “Pura vida” was used nationwide by 1970. Nowadays, it represents the national motto, which identifies the Costa Rican spirit and our way of being.
Pura Vida somehow manages to be versatile enough that it fits in almost any situation and it makes you feel cool for “pulling it in” when you have a lack of options.
We want to share 6 meanings of “Pura Vida” with you:
1. #PuraVidaMeans “Hello”, “How are you?” “Hey what’s up?” It is used both as an informal greeting and a pleasant farewell.
2. #PuraVidaMeans: “going great”. It is a synonym for “excellent”. It reflects happiness, gratitude and satisfaction towards a situation. “Pura Vida” means that people need to be grateful for the things they have instead of dwelling on the negative things that they don’t.
3. #PuraVidaMeans: “in good health”. It is equivalent to having “well-being”. It represents a deep appreciation of your environment and your surroundings.
4. #PuraVidaMeans: “take it easy” or “no worries”. It is believing things will turn out all right. It means looking at the bad stuff with cheer optimism. It’s synonym of the Kenyan Swahili phrase “hakuna matata”.
5. #PuraVidaMeans : “this is real living”. In essence, life is what you make of it, so enjoy life while you can. It implies a sense of Carpe Diem. Enjoy the moment in your life, while this moment lasts. It is loving life to its full extent. So begin to live because life is short…
6. #PuraVidaMeans: a state of mind and a philosophy. It represents the Costa Rican way of life. It means we are all at the same level. That no matter what your current situation is, it is all good. So you need to consider that maybe…just maybe, your situation isn’t all that bad and that no matter how little or how much you have in life, we are all here together.
The real Pura Vida can only be experienced by personally interacting with the people who created it. So, if you want to know what living a peaceful, simple, uncluttered life with a deep appreciation for nature, family and friends feels like, we at Elemanto Natural invite you to visit Costa Rica. Book your trip with us and experience Pura Vida for yourself!
Sylvia León Koberg for Elemento Natural.