Many say this phrase, which means “pure life,” is the country’s most unique and popular phrase. Yesterday, rafting the Rio Puacare from early in the morning until late in the afternoon, I heard it used many times as an affirmation of Costa Ricans’ free spirit and love for life. Ticos (Costa Ricans) use it commonly as a positive response in all types of situations.

If I didn’t say it out loud, my heart was echoing the sentiment, as we travelled down the river, from high in the mountains, encountering class 2, 3 and 4 rapids along the way. The rain fell softly for the first hour, and then the clouds parted, about the time we docked to eat lunch. Our rafting company shared the fresh fruits, veggies, and tuna/chicken, with an indigenous family who were down near the river gathering grasses to re-thatch their roof. It was as amazing–as “pura vida”–as I have ever experienced. Looking down the canyon at the lush green hillsides and thunderous waterfalls, the moss-covered cliffs where impatiens grow wild, toucans and blue heron in the trees, and mariposas azules (blue morpho butterflies) shimmering above the water, I was dazzled anew by the wonder of what God has created for His people to enjoy.

That’s what I’ll be meditating on this special “domingo (Sunday)” in Costa Rica! Gracias a Dios!