What does Pura Vida mean?

For Ticos, the term "Pura Vida" is an expression of happiness, optimism, and living life to the fullest.  It is impossible to visit Costa Rica without hearing this phrase continuously.

How about a quick "Pura Vida 101" lesson? 

As a question, it is equivalent to "how are you?" As a response, it means "very well."

Something like this:

_Pura Vida?
_ Pura Vida.

Curiously, the person does not necessarily have to be very well -- the greeting arises automatically because, deep down, its meaning is: “I’m glad to see you and that makes me happy”.

It is also used to say goodbye:

_ See you later.
_ Pura Vida.

AND as if that were not enough, it is the equivalent to saying "yes" to any question:

_ Do you want me to come with you?
_ Pura Vida.

It is also used to say “you’re welcome” or “it's nothing”.

_ Thank you so much for coming.
_ Pura Vida.

Regardless of the context, Pura Vida is always expressed with enthusiasm, sympathy, gratitude and motivation, because it emerges from the soul.

Pura Vida is an expression so embedded in the DNA of Costa Ricans that no one would suspect that it may have arisen from a 1956 Mexican movie with the same name.  The phrase is used by the protagonist throughout the film to refer to good people and beautiful things or situations.

Ticos adopted the term, morphing it to a distinct meaning yet with varied manifestations. It is now so ingrained that it is used by different generations and is part of Costa Rican mainstream culture and identity. More than just a term, it’s a lifestyle.

Is your interest peaked? Would you like to truly get a feel of what Pura Vida is all about?  The perfect way to acheive this is to visit, immersing yourself in a combined experience that affords face-to-face or online Spanish classes in Costa Rica.  An added bonus? You get to view firsthand the country’s amazing biological diversity and the friendliness of the people. At CPI Spanish Immersion school in Costa Rica you will find tailor-made classes in a small-town, beach and mountain environments with native Spanish professors. Guaranteed you will be able to learn not only the meaning of Pura Vida, but the Ticos will also encourage you to experience it yourself.

For more information on how to learn Spanish and enjoy to the fullest, you can visit www.cpi-edu.com . We also invite you to read our blog The Pura Vida Experience which provides more detail on learning Spanish in Costa Rica - there you will find all the answers you need to live an amazing experience!

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