Pura Vida (or pure life in English) – Costa Rica’s most famous saying, slogan, or greeting – is a direct reflection of how ticos and ticas live life. Indeed, coming from the tropics, I grew up surrounded by a lifestyle that’s culturally and socially embedded in enjoying the simplest (but most important) things with a positive attitude: family, nature, community, etc.
Costa Rican culture shapes how well-being is approached, lived, and experienced daily. As I’ve mentioned before, “being well” is an ever-evolving state/concept that acquires different meanings not only beyond nations but also across individuals. Here are 4 things Costa Rican’s do to cultivate a life infused with joy, ease, and wholesomeness:
Family, Friends, & Community Connectedness
No wonder we are among the world’s five zones where people live the longest! Indeed, we are a Blue Zone area, and much of the credit goes to our sense of connectivity and relationship to others and the environment.
Tagging of the previous point, Costa Rica is at the forefront of sustainable innovation, environmental-centered practices, and policies that promote ecological well-being and conservation. Plus, did you know that we have more than 5% of the world’s biodiversity?
Religious / Spiritual Freedom
Faith, religious heritage, and spirituality mold much of how Costa Rican’s carry out their lives. Even though Catholicism is predominant, the country follows a constitutional “freedom of religion for all,” which broadens its spiritual identity beyond one religious system.
Despite the type of relationship established with a higher-power (religious, divine, or secular), it can provide a sense of meaning, social cohesiveness, and shared experiences and rituals that help individuals better cope with life’s ups and downs.
No Standing Army
After 73 years since the abolishment of the military, Costa Rica’s unique and thriving standard of living is due much to its emphasis on universal healthcare and education as opposed to reallocating funds to a standing army. Another reason we’ve ranked so high in overall well-being and happiness within the last decade (#1 according to the Happy Planet Index, to be precise!).
If you were looking for a convincing reason to visit Costa Rica or learn more about this country, there you have it! Pura Vida breathes into how we see and live in the world, which I’m sure you’ll love.