“Pura Vida” – A Simple Phrase ays It AllThat Says It All! – The literal translation of “Pura Vida” is “Pure Life.” These are the iconic words of Costa Rica! However, for Costa Ricans (and those lucky enough to be visiting Costa Rica!) it is a phrase that is used frequently for just about everything! “Hello”, “Good-bye”, “How are you?”, “Life is good!”, “Thanks!”, “Such is life!”….. It can also refer to someone who is nice and friendly.
The phrase is thought to have originated from a 1956 Mexican movie entitled, Pura Vida! It quickly gained acceptance into the Costa Rica lexicon and was incorporated into the dictionary in the mid-1990s. Pura Vida reflects Costa Ricans’ philosophy of living….life is uncomplicated and it is important to take joy in the simple pleasures that it offers. Contextually, then, it symbolizes the idea of simply enjoying life and being happy. As the Urban Dictionary states, it’s a synonym of “hakuna matata” and reflects the relaxed lifestyle of Costa Ricans
Pura Vida has become the mantra of Costa Rica, even used on Costa Rican currency and in national marketing campaigns. The phrase “Pura Vida” embodies all that is right and good about the Costa Rican culture and is always spoken with nationalistic pride! “Pura Vida!”