“Pura vida” is more than just a slogan that so easily rolls of the tongues of Costa Ricans; the phrase is a true mantra for the way of life in this Central American country. Said only by Costa Ricans, this phrase would literally be translated as “pure life”, but it means much more than that. It means “going great”, “real living”, “this is living”, “no worries”, and “you’re welcome”. The phrase can be used in so many ways. For example, it can be used both as a greeting or a farewell, as an answer to “How are you?” or “How are things going?”, and in response to being thanked. Here are some very common instances in which Costa Ricans say pura vida (pronounced POO-rah VEE-dah):
-¡Hola, Susana! ¿Pura vida? -Hi, Susana. ¿Pura vida?
-Muy bien, gracias a Dios. -Very well, thanks be to God.
-¡José! ¿Cómo vas? -José! How’s it going?
–Pura vida, ¿y vos? –Pura vida, and you?
-¡Nos vemos mañana! -See you tomorrow!
–Pura vida, ¡chao! –Pura vida, bye!
-¡Muchas gracias! -Thank you very much!
-¡Pura vida! -¡Pura vida!
-¿Usted conoce a María? -Do you know María?
-¡Claro! Ella es muy pura vida. -Sure! She’s very pura vida.
Basically, if you don’t know how to respond to something in Costa Rica, just say ‘pura vida’ – it’s hard to go wrong with it!
Going beyond the simple translation, this phrase symbolizes the idea of simply enjoying life to its fullest and being happy. Costa Ricans, also called ‘ticos’, have a very relaxed, simple way of looking at life. No worries, no stress, no fuss. This beautiful phrase represents a peaceful, simple, uncluttered life with a deep appreciation for nature, family, and friends – exactly what Costa Ricans are known for. There’s no way of really understanding the depth of this phrase, this emotion, this attitude, this way of life, without visiting this little haven of happiness in Central America.