Posted on January 18th, 2010 by

The expression pura vida, literally meaning pure life, is the favorite of both Costa Rican and foreigners alike. It is used as a greeting, good bye, the equivalent of OK, or just a one size fits-all expression. Our group, fortunatelly, is in pura vida mood ninety nine percent of the time.

Our daily routine starts with a long walk down the hill to catch the 7: 30 bus to the language institute. Some students have to walk as long a as a mile after what is ussually a hearthy breakfast of fresh fruits, sweet breads and coffee. The students have been a bit surprised by young kids` love for coffee. It is said that coffee drinking has always been promoted as being good for the country since historically it has been the basis of the economy, that is, until tourism came roaring in the 90`s and beyond. Almost simultaneously, technology exports have made a huge impact on the economy.

After a short ride trough the village and up another hill, the institute hides behind a tall wall covered with bouganvillas. The campus consists of yet another hill sprinkled with charming classrooms built in the old Costa Rica style. The hike up and down the hill to Miravalles, the last classroom , is enough to keep you in shape. After four hours of Spanish, the students are tired, but eager to explore beyond the school walls and beyond Carrillos. We have had mostly great excursions to neighboring villages, natural areas, a volcano and a coffee plant. This afternoon we are venturing to San Jose where we will spend the afternoon roaming around the old town, the market, and what is called the Cultural plaza with its beautiful and historic Teatro Nacional. I hope it will be fun for all.


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