Pura vida, literally translated as ‘pure life’, is a Costa Rican philosophy. It is used by the Ticos to celebrate good fortune as well as to symbolize their lifestyle. I, along with my classmates in the Working Spanish for beginners, got to learn about pura vida plus more during our immersion trip to the country on March 18-26.
Each of us lived with a host family, who spoke only Spanish, thereby ‘forcing’ us to use everything we have learned in the past two quarters. Although challenging, it was a good experience because 1) it forces us to remember everything we learned and 2) it was a chance to learn what we haven’t, and 3) it shows us that we do know more than we think we do, no matter how limited. Fortunately, we do have dictionaries, miming, and drawing to fall back to if our words fail.
Because the program is more than just a language course, we also learned about the culture and business in Costa Rica. We made friends at the school Intercultura. We visited multinational companies like Intel, HP, and Allergan. We also went to INCAE, a top business school in Latin America. We also learned about the coffee business through our tour at Cafe Britt. Lastly, we learned about the economic policy from the Banco Central de Costa Rica.
Of course, no trip to Costa Rica would be complete without a visit to the beach, waterfalls, and the rain forest. Here are a few of the photos from the trip.