“Pura Vida” is the most recognizable phrase for the Costa Ricans. It reflects the local way of life. It is the most common greeting of people on the streets and in the markets. “Pura Vida”, means pure life, or good life. A common response to “How are you?” would be “Pura Vida”.
Costa Rican cuisine is a blend of Native American, Spanish, African and many other diverse origins. Dishes such as the tamale and many others made of corn are the most representative of its indigenous inhabitants, and similar to other neighboring Mesoamerican countries. Spaniards brought new ingredients to the country from other lands, especially spices. In the 19th century, the African flavor lent its presence with influence from other Caribbean mixed flavors. The Cuisine today is a combination of many ethnic groups that comprise the Costa Rican population.