As you may have already heard, Costa Rica is the happiest country in the world! This does not mean that we have a perfect country without issues but means that the Tico (Costa Rican) knows how to be happy regardless.
Indigenous, European and Afro-Caribbean influences make our beautidul country what it is today. These cultures have influenced out cuisine, music, traditions and culture. We are a wonderful multi-ethnic, friendly group of people! Here are a few things we Ticos do…
1) Use the phrase “PURA VIDA” for practically everything! We say “Pura vida” to indicate how our mood is, to greet anyone and everyone, to say thank, you and good bye goodbye, to show we agree with something and even to express what pleases us! “Did you enjoy your breakfast?” “PURA VIDA!”
2) Make a joke about everything. We poke fun at of our own weaknesses as a country (now often through the famous memes)…whether in football, government, etc. No matter the subject, Ticos have a great imagination and desire to make each other laugh.
3) Eat rice and beans…every day…any time! It is because of this type of diet that we are considered one of the longest living countries in the world!
4) Love football (soccer)! This sport has such power among the majority of Ticos to the point of making us forget the social and economic problems of the country, the complaints about the traffic jams, increases in the cost of gasoline, etc. It brings the country together like nothing else when it is our National Team that faces a game! Surely all Ticos have “the red one”… (red jersey) used to support the National Team. It does not matter if the shirt is original or a copy, you can see Ticos wearing it through the streets, offices, buses, train, the day the National Team plays. And for anyone who doesn’t have one they are sold on every street corner in the days up to each game.
5) Be very proud of our freedom in this extraordinary democracy. Our country stood out as the second nation of Latin America in the 2017 Democracy Index prepared by The Economist Intelligence Unit in position 23, It places us as a leader in democracy in Central America above Panama, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Hence the phrase expressed a few years ago by ex-president Uruguayan Sanguinetti: “Where there is a Costa Rican, wherever he is, there is freedom”.