Costa Rica has not officially designated a national motto. However, if Costa Rica were to designate a national motto, our research team believes that the choice would be the expression "Pura Vida". Costa Ricans started using the expression "Pura Vida" after watching the premier of a Mexican movie called "Pura Vida!" in 1956. During that time only a small portion of the population used it. By 1970 everyone used the expression on a daily basis because the words conveyed the state of happiness, peace, and tranquility that the political stability and freedom bring to Costa Ricans.
Nowadays, the expression "Pura Vida" has become so popular that has been added to Costa Rican Spanish dictionaries as an idiom to greet, or to show appreciation.
Pura Vida is a word that identifies a Costa Rican wherever he or she may be. When you say "Pura Vida" the facial expression of the person changes and the person smiles. It is a word very meaningful to Costa Ricans. It reminds us of home and it beauty.
Pura Vida has different meanings and it is implemented as an informal Spanish expression:
To greet someone
When you see someone on the streets, shake hands, or just to say hello you would say "Pura Vida!" That means in English Hi, Hello, How are you doing?and/ or What's going on?
To say good bye
When you leave a place, you want to say good bye, you say Hasta luego todo estuvo Pura Vida.
To show appreciation for a person, object, or situation
If you want to express that a situation, object, or situation is great, cool, abundant, joy, and/or fun. You would say something or someone is Pura Vida. "Usted es Pura Vida!" means You are a great person.