Tarrazu, Costa Rica
Chilly nights and warm days in the mist-covered Talamanca mountain range of Costa Rica create little pockets of microclimate perfect for coffee cultivation, and just a slight change in elevation allows for extreme biodiversity. Currently however, unpredictable rain and higher temperatures have beset many coffee farmers. Not only has Roya (Rust disease) taken a huge toll in the past few years, but the vicious cycle of low commodity prices resulting in lack of funds for fertilizer, pest control, and new trees has left them struggling to survive, making the leap to producing specialty-grade coffee even more difficult.
Be that as it may, the “Ticos” take pride in their land and their coffee. They have a phrase, Pura Vida, which encapsulates the optimism of the people. This multipurpose phrase is translated “pure life,” and carries with it an underlying thankfulness, along with the understanding that no matter what the situation, somewhere someone is experiencing something worse, so maybe the situation isn’t so terrible after all! In essence, no matter how much or little you have, life is short and we’re here together so—pura vida!