Life Lessons from Costa Rica….. Pura Vida!!



My family recently returned from an amazing vacation in the beautiful country of Costa Rica.   Not only is the landscape of the country majestic and breathtaking at times, there is an unmistakable positive vibe that permeates the country and is experienced when interacting with the Ticos (native Costa Ricans).

Everywhere we went, we were  greeted with “Pura Vida!”, and bid farewell with the same.  In researching this phrase, I discovered in Spanish it means “pure life”.  The Ticos explain that they live “the good life” and they truly embody the lifestyle.  I also read that it is about being free and living life to it’s fullest without regrets, it’s an attitude.

I came to the realization that with every “Pura Vida” we were greeted with was accompanied by a BIG SMILE!!  The smiles and laughter were the reason why “Pura Vida” had so much meaning!    As a dentist, I did notice there were many smiles with missing, yellow, discolored, crooked teeth that could have certainly used some of my help… but regardless, it didn’t stop anyone from smiling!

So… my life lesson from Costa Rica is this:

Did you know that your smile is a gift that we can give away everyday?

Be generous… spread some love today and SMILE!!!

Pura Vida!!


Leslie Strommer, DDS

New Image Dental

7510 Hazard Center Drive, SD, CA 92108