Interview to Somos Pura Vida
Many of the remarkable moments in life, the desires and even ourselves can be held in small -big places with the serendipity of the unknown. Plentiful of our treasured memories lived by the road less traveled can’t be expressed in words. However, the allurement of life can be expressed in two words: Pura Vida!
The news is plenty of bad headlines, we can’t deny the truth, but what if we stop focusing on what we don’t have and start focusing on what can we create that will make my country and yours a better place in our common home, the world.
In this interview we want to show you how important you are as citizen and what you can do to leave a legacy –not just a souvenir- of your country in the world; that’s why we thought the guys from Somos Pura Vida can be that example to shout out!
Paola Fallas Gairaud, Carlos Fernando Jimenez, Luis Carlos Chavarría, Roberto Morales (Beto), and Juan Carlos Matarrita Chinchilla are the ones responsible to leave a gift to Costa Rica… Hereby you can read more about it, let’s see what is all about?
- How Somos Pura Vida started? Who or what inspired you to create this movement? We want to know about the kick/off of this project.
Beto and I (Juan Carlos), have been friends since senior year of High-school. We spent the whole academic year next to each other working on different assignments. This contributed to create a very organic synergy and fantastic flow of ideas creation.
Our first project together was an annual event to celebrate happiness with our friends, which we ran consecutively for 5 years. Perhaps the success of that project was the chemistry and friendship between the both of us.
After that first success, we both realised we will be collaborating in many more projects in the future.
In 2014, Beto travelled to support CR at the world cup in Brazil. He brought with him, a beautiful logo of Pura Vida he’ve created. So in that way, people he will meet could keep a lovely souvenir from Costa Rica.
Football fans from all over the world really enjoyed carrying with them a Pura Vida reminder. So, when Beto came back home, he noticed the potential of his logo as a country brand.
Later that year, I went to Nepal. Commonly, many of the locals asked me where do I come from. Usually whenever one mentions Costa Rica, people knows little about our country. But this time there was something slightly different. Thanks to the world cup, people were more knowledgable about Costa Rica. Therefore, people were open to learn more about what one had to say. And then, it hit. In that moment, I became aware of how I would love to contribute to our country. So, immediately I called Beto and we put the ideas together. One more time.
We founded Somos Pura Vida with the main idea to export our culture to the world. Share with the people what is the real essence of the Costa Ricans. And increase the awareness of our great nation in the international community. As we firmly believe the more exposure Costa Rica has, the more opportunities will be generated for locals entrepreneurs.
Carlos, Paola, Luis and Marta, joined the team of Somos Pura Vida in 2015! All of them brilliant in their expertise, contributed with fantastic ideas and dedication to enhance the growth of Somos Pura Vida.
Somos Pura Vida became our gift to our country. Our contribution to the Costa Rica we want to see in the world. A country unite, proactive and positive. A land where people support and help each other. A place where answers are provided untested of problems. And a territory where it citizens have taken charge of their destinies.
Thus we proudly say that we export culture. We bring to the world who we are, so the world can work, contribute and learn with Costa Rica.
- What’s the main objective of Somos Pura Vida?
Our mission is to: Share Pura Vida with the world!
Our main objective is to: Increase the knowledge, of the people of the world, about what Costa Ricans are doing, about what we’ve done and about what we want to do!
Additionally, we want to redesign the perception of what does it means to be Pura Vida.
We want to incentive Costa Ricans to embrace the improvement of three particular areas: empowerment, positive reading and sense of community.
- How would you define Pura Vida to someone who barely knows about Costa Rica?
Pura Vida is who we are as a nation. We use it to say hello and good bye. We use it to express our mood or to say if something is good or not. But Pura Vida is more then a phrase. Is a way of living. Is a way of being. A way of thinking. Pure, good, positive and proactive. Pura Vida is how we want the day to be. Is how we want the people to feel. Pura Vida is Costa Rica and we are Pura Vida.
Or simply, we will tell the person to buy a plane ticket to Costa Rica. And by the time the person gets off the plane, she/he will start understanding what Pura Vida means. Because Pura Vida is something that must be experienced. One should simply taste it, live it, huge it, let it be and love it! The Pura Vida is the vibe of Costa Rica. Is what you get for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The Pura Vida is in the air, in the water, in the sand and in our hearts.
So that’s Pura Vida!
- What’s your definition of Pura Vida?… and tell us as well what is not Pura Vida?
Pura Vida for us is a state of mind. Where we seek for the answer instead of focusing in the problem. Pura Vida is looking in the common benefit before the individual one. Pura Vida is taking charge of one’s life. And transform it into it’s best version! Pura Vida is who we are. Pura Vida is what we always want to be.
Not being Pura Vida is to blame someone else for one’s mistakes. Is to give a thousand problems before at least three possible solutions. Not being Pura Vida is to speak bad about those who try to achieve or create better realities. Not being Pura Vida means to believe one’s future is unchangeable and that we can’t stand up and do it better. Not being Pura Vida is to give up, and let others to deal with what is our’s responsibility to solved.
- What’s your favourite thing about Costa Rica that you want to shout out to the world, that « thing » you want to tell everybody?
The laughs and the smiles. Since early in the morning the good vibes are received from almost everyone. Kind greetings and constant good wishes is what makes us such joyful population. Habitants of a nation of constant sunshines in people’s mouths. That is the thing we want to shout out!
- In your opinion, why should people visit Costa Rica? Can you recommend four places to visit in Costa Rica from the perspective of a local?
People should come to Costa Rica simply to understand better our way of seeing life. To get recharged with positive energy coming from the people and the wonderful nature we have.
Undoubtedly, Costa Rica’s nature is stunning. So all green destinations are worth to visit. The most diverse the better. Experiencing all the micro climates the country has, is a must on any travel agenda.
Besides that, the four places we will recommend people to visit, will be where the locals live. So in that way visitors can truly embrace our culture and go beyond the standardisation for the international tourist.
We recommend to visit the Central Avenue and Central Market. A Costa Rican’s house. Any main shopping centre. Finally an university town.
This four places, perhaps will give a glimpse of our different faces in such small country. But if there’s more time, a football match of the national team will be mandatory for the perfect travel agenda.
- What’s the main responsibility, in your opinion, of a Costa Rican while being abroad? Do you have any message to all the Costa Ricans who are out there… somewhere in the world?
We can only made one first impression. Therefore we certainly must do our best.
It’s provable we will be the first Costa Rican, ever, a person got to meet. Therefore we will be judged based on that person’s negative or positive assumptions of our lovely nation. And perhaps we can end up fulfilling those stereotypes. Or we can remember that we have the power to redefine our image in that precise moment. Hence is imperative to recognise that we are ambassadors of Costa Rica. Thus our way of behaving might be understood as the one of the whole nation.
After having made that annotation, the message we will give to all the Costa Ricans abroad is: « Be the Pura Vida you want to see in the world »
- How would you define Costa Rica in three words? How would you describe a Costa Rican?
A Costa Rican is a person very polite and kind. Someone who has an abundant happiness to share with others. An individual who will provide a positive reading about life’s matters. A human that have never seen a real army and that is bless with exuberant nature everyday. An addicted to laughs and rice. A Costa Rican is a cheerful person. A being empowered with the message to create herself/himself a Pura Vida day!
- What are your favourites Costa Rican’s slangs, besides Pura Vida, you can’t live without?
Well, mae is simply a word that is going to always be part of us.
Vara is extremely useful as it can replace plenty of things going trough one’s mind.
Words to express appreciation for a situation, such as: tuanis, chuzo or chivisima.
And finally the shout from Nicoya, wuuiippp!
10. Have you had a random experience using the phrase Pura Vida in other country?
I (Juan Carlos) worked in Hong Kong for two years. And usually I will explain to people the meaning of Pura Vida. Fallowing by teaching them how to pronounce Pura Vida and it’s translation. But for our amusement, Chinese language has no R rolling sound as we have in Spanish. Consequently people will tempt to change the R in Pura, to and L or T sounds. Which for the second option, might have a very different connotation.
So one day teaching to a large group of Chinese students, the group started shouting and saying to each other Puta Vida… happens.
11. What do you miss the most about Costa Rica while being in another country?
Well certainly the Costa Rican nature, and specially the beach; it’s one of the most gorgeous scenarios we’ve ever seeing. I (Juan Carlos) actually carry a small recording I did in Manzanillo, Puerto Viejo. So people can see how a country granted priority to sustainable development over careless commercialisation of the environment.
Besides that, something we really miss about Costa Rica is the casual conversation dynamics. We Costa Ricans are use to quickly fill in the silences with jokes and comments. Which creates a wonderful and easygoing atmosphere. Normally this will variate from group to group, but is something that we happily recall whenever we are in a more passive gathering. We believed that, »wherever there is Costa Rican, there will be laughs.
12. How do you see Somos Pura Vida in three years from now? What’s next?
Somos Pura Vida in three years will be very well established in Costa Rica, as the platform to spread to the world Costa Rican initiatives, business, products or ideas. In 2018, Somos Pura Vida will be cooperating with regional partners to wider spread the projects of the Costa Ricans.
In 2018 Somos Pura Vida will be on people’s minds as the reminder to: be empowered, apply a positive reading and cultivate a sense of community. In 2018, Somos Pura Vida will be advocating for the change we want to see in our nation.
13. For you, what is the meaning of a global citizen?
For us a global citizen is someone who is able to see beyond the origins of another person’s passport. A global citizen will be an individual who is willing to learn about the differences that make humankind so colourful. A person that is happy to embrace diverse mindset and ideas in order to create an extensive and more inclusive reality. A global citizen is the outcome of an open society that welcomes ideas and celebrates differences. A planet where humans will see each other as equals. Members of the same a place. Citizen of the same globe.
Is more than clear that the spontaneous ideas from a young group of social entrepreneurs will be spreading the world of how cool is the Costa Rican vibe.
Somos Pura Vida is an example of the responsibility we should have as citizens, an example of being part of the solution, and an example that to make things happen it’s mandatory to have a Pura Vida attitude and to step out from the comfort zone.
The Pura Vida lifestyle is ours, how are you going to export it?
How far our Pura Vida can travel?
It’s up to us!