There are so many wonderful things I could share about Costa Rica but I want to talk specifically about the Pura Vida spirit of the people we encountered while in this beautiful country.
It all started for us at the car rental office. We arrived in Costa Rica on July 4th, which, as we know, a national holiday here in the states. And even though we called our credit card company ahead of time, there was an issue using it to rent the car. The gentleman at the counter was gracious enough to let us use his phone to call but of course the offices were closed. So, in the Pura Vida spirit of these wonderful people, he allowed us to take the car with the promise that we would call back the next day with the information he needed for the deposit. Would that ever happen in the U.S.? Nope, no way. Pura Vida!
Fast foward a few days to Playa Hermosa. A fantastic little beach town in the Guanacaste region that makes you relax the moment you walk out onto the sand. We see a man walking up and down the beach in the extreme heat selling these wonderful carved vases and we stop to take a look. I find a couple that we love, but of course we don’t have money on us, because we are just hanging on the beach. In his broken English he tells us it’s ok, we can pay him tomorrow and in our broken Spanish, we make a plan to meet him on the beach the next morning. Would you believe that he wrapped up those vases and gave them to us right there with the promise of returning with the money the next day? True story, this actually happened…we were floored. We met him the next day as promised. Smiles all around! Pura Vida!
The next night, we walked down the beach from our place to a little restaurant right on the beach for drinks and dinner. The weather that night kept many people away, but we didn’t let it stop us. After our meals and a glass of wine (or two) we knew we were at our cash limit but the server wanted us to stay for another glass of wine. We said we didn’t have enough cash with us so we had to go. He said to come back tomorrow and pay for it. Pura Vida he said. Live it up and enjoy the moment! Who does that? Would any restaurant here let you come back the next day to pay? I don’t know many that would.
If you have the chance to go to Costa Rica, GO…if for no other reason than to experience the most lovely and friendly people. It’s a reminder that we could all stand to be a little kinder to one another.
Pura Vida, my friends, Pura Vida.