If you’re all signed up for our new TESOL course and ready to teach in Costa Rica, you might want to know a little bit about the fascinating new culture you are going to be part of. In Costa Rica, the motto “pura vida”, roughly translating to “pure life”, is very important to the Costa Rican people. This phrase can be seen as similar to hakuna matata and is about living a relaxed, healthy and balanced life. Read on for a further look at this enchanting culture and, if you haven’t already, maybe even consider making the move with our course to prepare you to teach in Costa Rica.
One of the Happiest Countries in the World
Did you know that Costa Rica is one of the happiest places in the world according to the Happy Planet Index? Residents not only enjoy a stress-free lifestyle, but also the health benefits of a more relaxed way of life. Costa Rica has one of the longest life expectancies, with an average of 78.5 years, longer than that of the USA.
Costa Ricans are very generous and welcoming people and take pleasing their friends and guests very seriously.
If you teach in Costa Rica, you will be a valuable member of the community as education is highly regarded in this Central American country and lots of people will want to welcome you. As with other Latin cultures, it is customary to greet close friends with a kiss on the cheek. Culture tip: remember to greet and say goodbye to everyone whenever you leave your new Costa Rican friends’ houses. Even if it might take you an extra few minutes to leave, they will definitely appreciate it.
Teach in Costa Rica – A Country of Diverse Natural Beauty
Costa Rica is one of the top five greenest countries in the world, the only one of the top five outside of Europe. Despite only occupying 0.03% of the earth’s surface, it houses 5% of the world’s biodiversity. For nature lovers, there are hundreds of species of birds, over one-hundred and fifty species of mammals, 9,000 species of plants, and 1,000 species of butterflies. As well as having a plethora of wildlife and plants, the locals are also passionate about protecting it. Did you know that more than 90% of the country’s energy comes from renewable energy sources? It’s great that Costa Ricans are so devoted to preserving their land, and there are lots of conservation projects you can get involved in whilst you teach in Costa Rica too.
Food for Thought
As well as nature, another thing close to Costa Ricans’ hearts is food. Most food is cooked from fresh ingredients with little to no added preservatives or salt. Dishes tend to be made of fresh vegetables, fruit, beans and rice. Whilst living in Costa Rica, you can chow down on Olla de Carne, a hearty beef stew with a variety of vegetables, or vegetarians can enjoy dishes such as Patacones, deep fried plantain, with dips and sides. There is a lot of choice and lots of chances to tickle your taste buds.
Being such hospitable people, Costa Ricans are always keen to offer their guests some food and or refreshments. However, they also appreciate honesty so politely let them know if they give you something you can’t eat or drink.
In this country, sharing a meal is about spending time together with friends and family and often forms the base of social events and gatherings. So, dig in!
Join the Festivities
The people of Costa Rica enjoy celebrating national holidays in a big way. On Independence day, there are traditional outfits men and women will wear to celebrate the occasion, with clothing all decorated in red, white and blue, the nation’s national colours. Another big celebration in the country is Semana Santa, usually happening in April, in which people will gather together to celebrate the Holy Week with parades and processions.
As Costa Rica’s main religion is Christianity, there are also a heap of things to do around Christmas time, including more parades, tree decorations, and traditional snacks. It may not offer sleigh rides and snow, but you can have a very merry Christmas when you teach in Costa Rica.
Another big passion for Costa Rican people is football (or soccer). There are various teams in Costa Rica, each with their own devoted fan base, and people love to cheer on their team at a stadium or get together to watch matches on TV. Hiking in the country’s many mountain ranges is also very popular and with the wonderful weather it’s a great place to get outside, stay active and feel healthy.
Joining a sports club is also a great way to meet new friends and will help you to feel at home. With health and social benefits plus plenty of opportunity, there really is no excuse not to be a healthier you.
Want to Teach in Costa Rica?
How does the pura vida lifestyle sound to you? If you’re intrigued by the small glimpse into the culture provided by this blog, why not check out our in-classroom TESOL course based in this amazing country? Not only will you get an accredited teaching certificate opening up possibilities for you across the world, you will also have access to our placement assistance and ongoing support network to help you get the most out of your time in Costa Rica. We also provide an orientation week to get you ready for your new adventure. What are you waiting for? Come and join us in the sunshine!