Pura Vida? Literally, the expression “pura vida” means “pure life.”

It describes a peaceful, tranquil and free-from-impurities existence. For the Costa Ricans, the phrase “pura vida” means much more: It has become the popular but unofficial national motto. This motto is associated with all Costa Ricans world-wide.

Where did the phrase “pura vida” come from?

Costa Ricans started using the expression “pura vida” after the premier of a movie called “Pura Vida” in 1956. This expression gained popularity in the ’70s, because the words conveyed the states of happiness, peace, and tranquility which were, and still are, symbols of the liberty brought on by the country’s political stability.  Remember, Costa Rica abolished its army and navy in 1948, and the thought of war is just not a part of their mentality.

The popular expression is used by Costa Rica and by Costa Ricans around the world to remember their beloved native country. The expression is used informally, with various meanings, depending on how it is used. It could be a greeting, a way of saying goodbye, or a show of appreciation for a person, object, or situation. Sometimes it’s like saying “Everything’s all right,” or “No need to worry” or “It’s a beautiful day and life is good.”

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Published by ajimenez

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