SAN JOSE, Costa Rica – Arriving at the San Jose International airport you will see a sign that reads, “Welcome to the happiest country of the world.” As once again Costa Rica ranked as the planet’s most content.
Listed as an ‘under developed” country, there are stark contrasts in upper, middle and lower classes. The government is a “big brother” or big sister since President Laura Chinchilla took control. The people tend to be complacent or unworried about things that drive the fast paced North American crazy, like 3 hour line ups at banks, or the speed at which infrastructure project are carried out – but that’s part of the “pura vida” mind set.
Tico’s (Costa Ricans) have an average life expectancy of 79.2 years, so they are generally a long lived people.
Last month, Costa Rica topped the United States and Western European nations for the second time on a survey of 151 countries on a grade of progress and well-being.
The Happy Index only really measures global well-being and sustainable development, not gross domestic product, or goods and services produced.
But Costa Rica is taking full advantage with a tourism campaign called the “Gift of Happiness” to attract new visitors to Costa Rica.
Chinchilla recently told a United Nations forum, “We Costa Ricans have a strong spirit of self-criticism. We know our limitations, we are aware of our problems and, as free people, do not have a common definition of happiness,”
The Happy Planet Index weighs three factors. It looks at life expectancy; Costa Rica topped USA by .5 years. Then the study looked at the people’s sense of well-being as measured on a score of 0 to 10, Costa Rica scored 7.3, 13th highest in the world.
Many people mocked the Happy Index ranking Costa Rica received, and also the market campaign around it. But why not take advantage.
The truth is that Costa Ricans are generally very happy and content with life. They don’t worry about tomorrow, a mindset that North Americans tend not to comprehend, but the Tico’s seem to have a lot less stress in their lives because of it.
The Costa Rica News (TCRN)
San Jose Costa Rica