¡Pura vida! – Riley Minkoff

¡Pura vida!

Hola a todos, I am the last of those to write a blog about our trip to Costa Rica. As our time came to a close, I was able to reflect on all of the activities we participated in and around Las Juntas. Though I think we are all happy to be traveling back to our families, dogs, homes and (hopefully) cooler weather, there are many things I’m sure we will all miss about our trip. Probably not

With Students at La Esquelita San Jorge, in Las Juntas

the bugs or the heat, but you can’t ask for everything! The sense of community that emanated from each person in town and the friendly attitude of each individual was truly refreshing, and the lively energy that pervaded each space we visited was remarkable. By the end of our stay, I could walk down the street and genuinely wave hello to each person I saw. The lifestyle in Las Juntas is truly more simple and predicated upon interpersonal relationships- modern distractions, luxuries  and objects are not as important. For instance, while we all complained about the lack of AC (especially me, it was hot!) the townspeople grew accustomed to heat, because they knew that what truly mattered was the fact that they were all together as a family, whether that meant with or without air conditioning. I also learned how this happiness and relaxed way of living contributed to the sustainability of culture in the town.

Teaching English at La Esquelita San Jorge, in Las Juntas

When asked how they were doing, most people would respond with “pura vida”, or pure life. They believed that if they lived a pure life and continued to do so, and if their children and great grandchildren continued to do so as well, then they would survive for generations to come. They would find ways to make money and support themselves while doing what they loved, they would find ways to help the environment and sustain it for the future, and most importantly, they would find ways to remain content with their lives. In this way, I find myself, as I’m sure all the rest of my classmates do as well, appreciating and truly grasping the concept of this “pura vida” lifestyle. At the same time, it allows me to reflect on my own lifestyle and appreciate my family and the home I grew up in, and the way I hope to sustain my family and my life in the future.

The title of our class was “Community Sustainability in Costa Rica”. I believe that through this trip, I’ve discovered the real value of community sustainability culturally, environmentally and economically, both in Costa Rica and back home.
Abrazos y Besos,

Riley Minkoff

¡Pura vida!
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