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Inside the Suitcase

Costa Rica: Lots of Pura Vida / October 26, 2009

My big trip this year was to Costa Rica for ten days and what an amazing time I had! Costa Rica is full of life, natural beauty and lots of Pura Vida*. And if I may digress, let me just say, lots and lots of Pura Vida! Those Ticos really have it right. I can’t wait to go back.

I thought I would share some of the inspiration I found while I was there. Here are some photos that had the most influence on me.

  • The rainforest canopy paints a georgeous texture.
  • A washed-up tide sculpts a natural piece of art.

  • A warning sign needed only in Costa Rica. One word, 4 marks, each leading seamlessly to the other. Is that a sloth in there?
  • A variety of fruit is found in abundance as are bright colors from the flora all around.
  • Food so simplistic in style that you taste each natural ingredient with every bite. Seafood was ordered for almost every meal.
  • Buildings that would otherwise be boring get a facelift. Almost every school has a painted mural on the exterior expressing the style of its own community.
  • The native art of the Chorotega Indians is still practiced today. Primitively beautiful.
  • Luscious looking mushrooms growing in the musty rainforest tease my taste buds.

There we have it. Tons of culture, food and flora all to take inspiration from. What will I do with all this inspiration? Who knows. For now I just need me some more “Pura Vida!”

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*Pura Vida, literally translated means “Pure Life” but means contextually something approximate to “Full of Life”, “Purified life”, “This is living!”, “Going great”, or “Cool!” It can be used as a greeting, as a word of farewell, to express satisfaction, and in some instances to politely express indifference when describing something (1). The phrase has become widely known; this highly flexible statement is used by many Costa Ricans (and expatriates) since 1956 (2). Some foreigners view the phrase as an expression of a leisurely lifestyle, of disregard for time and wanton friendliness. However, Costa Ricans use the phrase to express something akin to a philosophy of strong community, perseverance, resilience in overcoming difficulties with good spirits, and enjoying life slowly and celebrating good fortune of magnitudes small and large alike.

1. Dictionary of Latin American Terms. In Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved October 15, 2009, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pura_Vida#Pura_Vida
2. http://www.costarica.com/Home/Culture/National_Symbols/National_Motto In Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved October 15, 2009, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pura_Vida#Pura_Vida

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What Mackenzie didn’t mention is that she took a photo of every single meal she ate while in Costa Rica. Given my eating habits, I might be a little embarrassed to do that, but what a great way to chronicle a microcosm of the culture.

Posted by Rachel on October 26, 2009

Costa Rica is a country of great natural beauty and lush vegetation and fauna that enchants the tourists who visit, the beaches of enchanting beauty and lots that are offered to those wishing to live in this country and settle in their own homes to enjoy more of this natural wealth

Posted by yanina on March 1, 2010

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