I live half of the year in Costa Rica in the Dominical/Uvita area and the other half in California or Hawaii. My son owns a permaculture farm in the hills above Dominical, Costa Rica in an area called El Alto de San Juan.
I am not rich. I don’t own homes in the US. I have chosen to live a life that is more pure and simple—real. I named my counseling practice Vida Real or Real Life in harmony with the Costa Rican term Pura Vida or Pure Life.
The term Pura Vida has been present in Costa Rican dialect for some 50+ years. Pura Vida (pronounced POO-rah VEE-dah) has a simple English translation but a far more profound meaning to the people of Costa Rica and you will hear it constantly as both a greeting of hello or goodby.
According to a study of the expression, a film called Pura vida came to Costa Rica from Mexico in 1956, directed by Gilberto Martinez Solares. In the movie, “Pura vida” is the expression of eternal optimism used by a comic character, played by the actor Antonio Espino, who unfortunately can’t seem to do anything right. While a small population used it then, the phrase “Pura vida” was used nationwide by 1970.
The term is used with many different English interpretations including “pure life”, “take it easy”, “enjoy life”, “all good”, “purity in life”, “hello”, “goodbye”, “this is life!” and many more. But the real meaning, is that no matter what your current situation is, life for someone else might be less fortunate and that we should all live life with optimism and a pure heart.