It’s official – in three different surveys, Costa Rica comes out #1 in contentment among its citizens. Trumping everyone from the US to Denmark to the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica is king for citizen cheer.
Methinks it’s in part to the weather (gorgeous – the rainy season has showers for a few hours which sure beat hurricanes or blizzards), the amazing nature, the postcard-perfect beaches and the fact we have no army. Books instead of bombs has been the motto here since the army was disbanded and outlawed in 1949. All the money that would have bought tanks and guns has instead paid for mandatory education, universal health care and social programs.
Having lived here for 8 years (as of Friday), I can say without hesitation that this IS the happiest place on Earth (sorry Disney). While I loved my friends and family in Canada, I wouldn’t trade my life in Costa Rica for millions of dollars. And don’t take my word for it – check out this op-ed piece that ran in the New York Times the other day. Pura Vida, baby.