“Pura Vida” Costa Rica’s Motto

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“Pura Vida’ Costa Rica’s Motto

What does this mean-can you explain it to me?  Translated into the English language it means “pure life”.  Costa Rican’s put a big emphasis on pure living.  I will give you some examples of what they “consider pure living”.  They Balance work and recreation.  Costa Rica has 11 national holidays when everyone goes out “to play”- enjoy the great outdoors and interact with family.  Plus they all take one week off from Christmas to around January 1. They go out to the beaches , take in the sun and fun and enjoy each other.  Plus Costa Ricans get 1 day of vacation per 30 days of work so that is 12 days of  paid vacation per year.  Also during Holy Week-Easter they all take paid leave from Wednesday noon until the following Monday morning.  So you see-Costa Ricans believe in “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”

“Pura Vida” means loving your family, taking care of the old people,  staying close together and helping each other.

“Pura Vida” means eating fresh food, which can be purchased at local markets on Fridays and Saturdays.  This food is not filled with preservatives and added chemicals. Pura Vida means picking a fresh banana from the tree growing in your yard and eating the first fresh mango  which falls from it’s tree in the month of May.

“Pura Vida” means getting plenty of exercise.  The average Costa Rican walks a lot instead of driving a car everywhere.  They get plenty of natural sunshine.

“Pura Vida” means putting God first.  There is no separation of church and state in Costa Rica.  The Catholic religion (official religion of Costa Rica) is taught the schools beginning in elementary.  So Christian values are instilled in the children from a very young age.

“Pura Vida” means not constantly worrying.  They live from day to day not thinking so much about next week or next year-just enjoy today.  Many do not have credit cards thus building up large debts.

“Pura Vida” means you can have your health needs taken care of at a reasonable price.  The gov. run “caja” which delivers the health care is pretty good.  Yes there is standing in lines and long waits for elective surgery but if you have a minor general health problem you can get seen in a clinic mostly the same day (although you may have to wait several hours to see the doctor.)  Or you can go to the private side and purchase private health care insurance and see a private doctor and go to a private hospital.

“Pura Vida” means that you can count on enjoying  the feel of falling rain on your face and hear the sound of the howling wind.  See the clean blue of the Pacific Ocean and feel the softness of  the sandy beaches on your bare feet.  Hear the birds singing early in the morning and watch the chickens roost at 5:30 pm every day.

Written by Ann Cabezas Creed  who lived for many years in Costa Rica and looks forward to her yearly visits.  She is the author of the web site www.costaricalearn.com.  She is a vacation planner for Costa Rica and can be contacted at anncreed23@gmail.com if you would like help with planning your vacation to sunny Costa Rica.  Just send Ann an email and she will answer you questions-no obligations.

Or if you have questions regarding living in Costa Rica or you are planning a move to Costa Rica, feel free to email Ann with any questions and she will try to answer them honestly.


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