Pura Vida. Often used in referring to life in Costa Rica. But what does it really mean?

The term has been present in Costa Rican dialect for some 50+ years. Pura vida has a simple English translation but a far more profound meaning to the people of Costa Rica and anyone spending any amount of time in this majestic country.
By: Don G. Halbert
Dec. 1, 2009 - PRLog -- Pura vida.  Pronounced POO-rah VEE-dah, in English means, "Pure Life". However, these two words have much more meaning throughout the Costa Rican culture.

It is believed to have originated in 1956 from the interaction between the surfing pioneers of the mid 1950’s and the local Costa Ricans (or Ticos) they encountered. It has been widely used throughout Costa Rica ever since.

Associated with many different English interpretations like "pure life", "take it easy", "enjoy life", "all good", "purity in life", "hello", "goodbye", "this is life!" and many many more. We could go on all day with the different interpretations of the term. The point is, we (foreigners) truly don't have a true grasp of the meaning of "pura vida" as we are not Costa Ricans ourselves, and with this disconnect, can we truly understand what it means?

Having spoken with many Costa Ricans over my time here, I have gathered, what I think is enough evidence to support the true meaning of the term. As vague as it may be.

I would sum it up like this:

Pura vida! Means that no matter what your current situation is, life for someone else can always be less fortunate than your own. 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 and life is short...so start living it "pura vida style".

Basically it kind of goes like this...

You may come to beautiful Costa Rica for a family vacation one day, and while your enjoying the scenic beauty that is Costa Rica, you can't help but to notice a vast majority of the Tico (Costa Ricans) population living in poverty. Yet no matter their fortunes whether large of small, they are always smiling and enjoying life. And without hesitation, you'll always hear them say: "Pura Vida!"

A great example of this mentality was when one day, early on in my arrival to Costa Rica, I came across a little boy playing in the street (dirt road). He was kicking around an extremely worn soccer ball while ankle deep in a mud puddle. Dirty from head to toe, the little boy looks up at me and with an infectious smile he says to me..."Pura Vida!".

Beginning to understand now, the true meaning of the uniquely Costa Rican term, "Pura Vida"? I feel that the more "foreigners" who truly grasp the concept, the better the world would be. Imagine if countries like the USA or Canada started to live life like the Costa Ricans and adopted the pura vida lifestyle? Because honestly folks...no matter how much of a mess your life may seem, there is always someone else who's life would make yours look like a vacation in paradise.

Interested in living the pura vida lifestyle? If you are considering Costa RIca as a place you may like to live or vacation, please consider Costa Rica Property Site (http://www.costaricapropertysite.com) in helping you find that special piece of Costa Rica property or maybe that unique Costa Rica vacation rental. Either way we hope you've enjoyed this article and we wish you all "Pura Vida".

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Costa Rica Property Site is a premium Costa Rica MLS site for buying property in Costa Rica or investing in the Costa Rica real estate markets.
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