“Pura Vida” is a common expression I often heard the people of Costa Rica say to one another during one of my visits to this beautiful country.  I asked several Costa Rican people what “Pura Vida” meant and  what I surmised from many responses and my own experiences I will disclose at the end of this blog.

Private School Chicago Morgan Park Academy

The MPA trip to Costa Rica provides a good balance to learn about the language, cultural, ecological, and environmental systems of this peaceful country.

Some experiences that students will have include having Spanish lessons taught by native instructors in traditional Costa Rican structures that are located outdoors.  These outdoor “classrooms” will immerse students in the sounds, sights and aromas of nature during their Spanish language instruction.

We will also visit with and attend traditional Maleku Indigenous community celebration.  The Maleku is one of the few indigenous populations that currently exist in Costa Rica. During our unique visit we will  learn how many plants in the forest are currently used by the Maleku for daily purposes.  We may even see a Theobroma Cacao (chocolate tree) and experience a taste of chocolate in its beginning stages.

We are excited to participate in a reforestation program and learn about eco-farming.  Students will learn the impact humans have on conservation and the environment.  Students will also learn about organic farming and using resources of the earth more efficiently that will ultimately create a better environment for everyone to use.

The students will be grouped and hosted by several Costa Rican families for meals during our visit.  Students will be able to practice their Spanish and experience traditional Costa Rican daily life  during their visits.  Perhaps the students will see the tree that provided the avocado which they are eating during one of their meals just as I did.

This is just a snap shot of Costa Rica 2017.  So many more experiences are awaiting them! I hope  to see many of your children on this trip!

So now, as promised, I will tell you about “Pura Vida”.    This expression is often used as an informal greeting, to express gratitude and it can also refer to someone who is nice and friendly.  “Pura Vida” also reflects a relaxed simple lifestyle and being happy.  This is another example of what your child will learn  while they experience Costa Rica…”Pura Vida”

-Señora Ortiz

Gloria Ortiz is a Spanish Teacher at Morgan Park Academy, a Chicago Private School.

Chicago Private School - Morgan Park Academy