Costa Rica - Pura Vida!

January 12, 2021 11:11 Central American time



I decided to take some time off of “LegacyMedia (Twitter, Facebook) and #NewMedia (Gab, Bit Chute, Telegram and many others I am learning) to study the cultural traditions of Costa Rica.


It looks like I am be here for a long time. The political situation in Canada is dire. The fate of children in Canada is not looking good. The politicians have them locked down in their houses and some are not able to go to school. This makes my heart hurt very badly. BTW I write in Spanglish. I am starting to think in Spanglish these days. I am doing my best to aprendar uno mas palabra por dia. The locals (ticos) really appreciate it when us “gringos” try and learn Spanish even if we are muy malo hablo Espanol. I have not figured out how to get the n with a tilde on top working on my desktop so this will have to do for now. I feel strongly that as a part time resident in Costa es muy importante to aprendar espanol por respecto Pura Vida Cultura. I was just in the bodega getting my “chino quadricyclo” reparado. Muy malo chino mechanics, precio is bajo pero mucho reparado necessita. Some days I wish I made a different decision, pero aki we are.

I am not even going to talk about the events unfolding in the world because it is very divisive right now and as a spiritual woman living in a Catholic cultura no Bueno escribe politico todos mundial porque yo tengo la paz con ticos y Costaricense. So, I am reading a book I found in my bodega. It is called Culture Shock! A guide to customs and etiquette by Claire Wallerstein. It was written in 2003 so hopefully it is still a reasonable facsimile of Costa Rican cultura. These are my early notes on what I am learning. It is very interesting. Here are the highlights


1. Religion and witchcraft


Costa Rica is predominantly Catholic country. In the book I read it says ticos say “Upe” which is a shortened version of the traditional greeting ‘Ave Maria Purisima Nuestra Senor la Virgen de Guadalupe”. I am assuming this is a reference to The Lady of Guadalupe.


2. Heroes and Villains Costa Ricans are very proud of the achievements of their compatriots and really appreciate if a foreigner knows anything about them. As of today, I knew nothing about anyone of them so it is going to be fun trying them out around the town. It is always HILARIOUS trying out cultural terms in another context when you are not fluent. As usual if you smile and make the right body language and put in the words “soy Canadiense, no entiendo todos discuple no entiendo) it almost ALWAYS works. What does not work I have learned is when a gringa tries this on a machismo tico. I only did this once and it was a result of something I said on Facebook that was shared far and wide without me knowing. See my post https://www.karenemckenna.com/single-post/byebye-facebook-and-whatsapp about leaving Facebook. This is one of 10,000 reasons why my departure on Facebook could happen at any second. Enough of you have my contact info so we will re-connect at some point. I wish to be a peace maker not a shit stirrer right now so I do not post anything on Facebook. I am actually quite careful to not like posts either. I have seen a rising star in #NewMedia get trashed for liking a post on Twitter. I will not be far behind. Yikes!


Anyway, here are four heroes and villains en Costa Rica cultura.


a. Claudia Poll Ahrens

· She was a swimmer. Just like me! I love swimming more than I love red wine. Ok. Maybe not but if I had to choose one or the other I would choose swimming.

· She won her first Olympic gold medal in 1996. She has established many world records. In June 2000 Claudia “tested positive for coronavirus” lol Just kidding. She tested positive for an illegal, performance-enhancing steroids and was suspended from competing for four years. She claims innocence


b. Laureno Alban

· A poet chosen by the Spanish government to write an official poem El Viaje Interminable to make the 500th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’s discovery of the New World. The poem represents Columbus’s journey as a metaphor for the human confrontation of the unknown. Seems appropriate for today. I have not studied the poem yet because mi espanol me es sufficiente. This is the only trace I could find of it on DuckDuckGo. https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/296293332.pdf I am going to print it out and study it. Culture is so fascinating!


c. Padre Minor Calbo

· A Catholic priest famous for being homophobic. He was caught by the police late with a young male passenger one night in a notorious gay cruising area of San Jose. A brave journalist by the name Parmenio Median broadcast the events.

d. Parmenio Median

· Colombian investigative journalist who lives in Costa Rica for 30 years/. He hosted an irreverent radio show La Patada which reported on wrong doing and dodgy dealings. He was shot in a professional hit-style killing in 2001, which was the first of its kind in the country. The murder came after he had spent months reporting the alleged financial mismanagement of the Catholic Church


I am not sure if Let There Be Peace song will be banned off Youtube anytime soon, but here it is anyway. It is a reflection of my current state of mind. I have no clue what an equivalent tico song is but I suspect it is simply saying “Pura Vida” to someone. P.S. If you are reading this blog and have no idea what I am talking about, I suspect that the collective consciousness (98% of humans are feeling the same about world events right now). Pura Vida https://www.thriftbooks.com/w/culture-shock-costa-rica-a-survival-guide-to-customs-and-etiquette-cultureshock-costa-rica-a-survival-guide-to-customs--etiquette_claire-wallerstein/397862/#edition=5018450&idiq=5491219 This is the book referenced. I do not have time to figure out how to make the link look fancy but wanted give the author credit and did not want to write this post in academic APA format.


Pura Vida amigas!

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