Literally translated as “pure life”, the phrase “pura vida” embodies what it means to be Costa Rican. It’s about persevering, overcoming difficulties with a positive attitude, having strong communal ties, celebrating good fortune, and enjoying a laid-back lifestyle. You can pretty much throw the phrase around anywhere in conversation – as hello, an acknowledgment, or goodbye; to express satisfaction or polite indifference; or to indicate an understanding.

My Tico friends use “pura vida” a lot in conversation after receiving good news or information about some sort of set back. They also like to shout it out randomly to express their satisfaction with life…usually while we are enjoying an Imperial or frosty cocktail. And for someone like me, who is learning how to speak Spanish (Costa Rican Spanish), its versatility comes in handy.

¡Pura vida!