The national motto of Costa Rica is “Pura Vida”, it’s Spanish for “the pure life,” and I think that it’s a beautiful phrase. Even though I have not been in Costa Rica for long, just 6 days, I have come to understand more so about the country’s motto “Pura Vida”.
With open minds and hearts, the people of Límon welcomed us. We were greeted with smiles, hugs, kisses on the cheek, and food… lots and lots of food. “Bienvenidos, make yourself at home, Pura Vida!”. Throughout the week, I have learned more and more what this foreign motto, “Pura Vida” means, and what it has come to mean to me. Once, while watching Antonio, our bus driver, someone cut him off on the road and the response from him, Allie, our guide, and Jeremy, our leader, was “Pura Vida”. When working at Iglesia San Jose Obrero, Allie’s response to materials arriving late was “Pura Vida”. I could go on with examples in which Pura Vida can be used, however, I’m going to stop there. It’s almost as if Pura Vida was used whenever one was frustrated, confused, angry, or even happy and joyful.
“Pura Vida” / “the pure life”.
Life is not measured by how happy we are all the time; life is full of hardships, and I personally believe life is measured by the way we are able to deal with these hardships despite their difficulties. Living Pura Vida is about living a pure life- an unfiltered life. It has taught me that instead of responding in an angry and frustrated way when the materials didn’t arrive on time, we should instead just continue working and let it go because that’s life.
The people of Límon are living the pure life. I can see this in the way that they loved us unconditionally all week long. Pura Vida has been an important message to me in my life, and I will continue remembering that I am living the pure life, and with a pure life comes imperfections. Despite feeling sad to leave these beautiful people I am thankful for the work we were able to do here in Límon, I hope the impact it has on the community is a positive one and that the project we started is completed.
In all honesty, I have seen Jesus everywhere this week from the way our two churches got along immediately with everyone becoming friends with each other, to the food that our friends in Límon made for us, and the lush fauna and flora all around us.
The people of Costa Rica live a pure life with their pure hearts, and I am so unbelievably grateful and blessed to be able to have witnessed this form of God’s love.
P.S. Pura Vida is said 13 times in this blog…lol.