Center for International Programs, School of Science, Environmental Studies and Sciences

"Pura Vida" is the ubiquitous mantra of Costa Rica. The saying translates to pure life or simple life. It means to be thankful for what you have and live stress free. It's a lifestyle Evan Blust '23 has wholeheartedly embraced. 

The Happy Planet Index is considered the leading global measure of sustainable wellbeing. It measures life satisfaction (using several indicators) and ranks countries by their happiness. In 2021, the United States ranked 122 in the world. At the other end of the spectrum, Costa Rica, once again, reigns happiest. 

Costa Ricans – or Ticos – are proud of their no fuss, no worries culture (the beaches and the rainforest help). Evan immediately bought in, and he's found happiness in the little things: talking with friends, losing himself in nature, or enjoying a good meal.

 "I have learned how to relax and be in the moment. I find myself no longer bouncing my leg or feeling like I always need to be rushing somewhere." 

Evan's actually getting class credit for his nature walks. His class took an excursion to the Cerro Las Vueltas Biological Reserve. In fact, Evan stayed with a family that lives completely off their land, more than 10,000 feet up a mountain. A completely self-sufficient lifestyle isn't all that uncommon, and it makes a difference at dinner time. 

 "You only buy as much as you need, so there's little waste and everything is so fresh. Most food is grown right here and nature restrictions allow for the food to be healthier." 

Whether he's cruising around in tuk-tuks (small, three-wheel taxis) or making conversation with locals, Evan's never in a hurry. He's learned to live life, as they say in Costa Rica, on "Tico time." Because, Pura Vida!