Pura Vida, Part 3: What about the American Dream?

How does Pura Vida compare with the American Dream?

(Paul) Hi There. Paul Carter here, in Costa Rica. 

Max Arguedas Lopez is a native of San Isidro de el General, also known as Perez Zeledon, Costa Rica. Max spent several years of his youth in the United States exploring the American Dream. He’s back in Costa Rica now and shares with us the difference sees between the American Dream and Pura Vida.

(Max) OK. My name is Max Arguedas. I’m from the South of Costa Rica. Right now we are in the place we call Pole de Portivo. That’s a place where people can come and exercise. Anybody can practice in here, and have fun. 

I went to the States when I was nineteen years old, a very young guy. I wanted to experience the American Dream. The United States is a very, very good country. I made good money over there. The only thing I didn’t like – we didn’t have a life over there. All we did was work, work, work, make money, work, make money. I had fun, too, but not like here.

Here we have a special life. More relaxed, slowed down compared to the States. 

I used to live in Philadelphia. I stayed thirteen years. Every day I thought about my town, Perez Zeledon. No matter how much money I make, I live here. I love this country, and especially this little town where we are right now. 

I know you want to know about what Pura Vida means. Here is Pura Vida. Where I am right now is Pura Vida. I mean I’m happy. I’m a free man. I have my family here. I sleep well, wake up happy. So Pura Vida means where you are in the positive mind. I’m a very positive guy. So that’s Pura Vida for me.  So I have that right here.

Family. I’ve got my two children, beautiful guys, living in town. That’s part of my Pura Vida life. That’s positive for me. Right now whatever I do, that’s for them – for my wife and my two children. I work hard for them because I want to give them good values – to be a good man. 

The value you have to remember all the time is to be in love. Because if you are in love all the time, you’re never going to do something wrong to anybody. That’s the main thing for me. Be in love every second, because you wont hurt anybody. 

Whatever happens, I know something good is coming. I just let it come, see what’s going on, relax, pray to God a little bit. OK. I might not like, but it’s going to be perfect. I live through it, and tomorrow it’s going to be another day.

I like to be a good business man. In the States I used to have a tractor trailer, eighteen wheeler business. I did it for ten, eleven years. A body shop, you know we fixed cars. I did that too. Put the problem was, I always did it for the money. That was my goal. If I got money, I wan’t happy. So now I do what I want to do, so I am happy. I have a pura life, now. So that’s what we call Pura Vida. That’s what Pura Vida means for me. I do what I want to do, I’m happy with it. I can stay here for a hundred years and I’ll be a happy guy, because I know the difference between money and being a good man. So that means Pura Vida for me. 

If you tell me “Max, we have a million dollars.” OK that’s great. But I have to feel it in my inside. I can do it. If not, I don’t care. I have to be happy with that. You have to be an honest guy for yourself. I’m going to do it because I feel good, with that stuff. Not for the money. 


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