Why Costa Rica is Happier

The above featured photo by Charlie Doggett is of the Bribri Watsi Waterfall in the South Caribe of Costa Rica. The latest international report to place Costa Rica as the happiest place on earth lists some of the reasons. See the full article at World Economic Forum  or here is my brief summary:

Our president, Carlos Alvarado Quesada, said at Davos 2019:

  1. Seventy years ago we did away with our army and now spend 8% of GDP on education while the rest of the world (including the U.S) spends only an average of 4.8%. So our strength is human talent, human wellbeing.
  2. Not spending on the armed forces also allows this country to protect the environment. Costa Rica generates more than 99% of its electricity from renewable sources.
  3. The Costa Rican government has used taxes collected on the sale of fossil fuels to pay for the protection of forests. “We saw in the eighties that the forest coverage was reduced to 20% due to animal farming and timber. We’ve managed to recover all this and we’re back to forest coverage of 50%. By this we are combating climate change.”
  4. Costa Rica hosts more than five per cent of the world’s species, despite a landmass that covers just 0.03% of the planet. “Many people say that to protect the environment goes against the economy. Whereas it’s the complete contrary. Our tourism has grown precisely because of this,” says Alvarado.
  5. As a result, Costa Rica is the happiest and most sustainable country on Earth, according to the 2019 Happy Planet Index (HPI).


See my photo Gallery of happiest, most sustainable country:

Charlie Doggett’s COSTA RICA

¡Pura Vida!


Happy Family Culture in Atenas

While waiting on a parade to start last year this Atenas father leads several waiting children in a game.
 As I did my daily walk through town today, not seeing a memorable photo op, I thought of this old one.
 It is so typical of the happiest people on earth right here in the center of Costa Rica!
Glad I live here!
Atenas, Costa Rica 

See also my photo gallery PEOPLE & FIESTAS.

Nat Geo names Costa Rica as Happy Place

Read about it in the online National Geographic article:
These are the World’s Happiest Places

NOTE: It may require you to log into your Nat Geo account to read the whole article.

or for an overview of how they measured happiness and 9 ways to be happy, see these videos

My garden is one of my “Happy Places” here.  🙂
As is my total Photo Gallery!  What makes you happy? 

Other organizations & universities have listed “happiest countries” similarly and always Costa Rica is in the top 3! It is nice living where people are happy and not complaining all the time like in states. It adds to me being healthy as does the universal healthcare here! “What? Me Worry?” 

¡Pura Vida!

“Funeral Train”

Funeral Train in downtown Atenas seen from Central Park

I walked downtown for a light lunch around 1:00 and saw that a funeral was in process, leaving the Atenas Catholic Church facing the central park. Street width for a block+ was shoulder to shoulder people walking behind the flower-covered hearse. A big funeral this time!

The whole traditional process can be read about at Death in Costa Rica or a quick summary by me: Someone dies and within an hour or so every family member and friends knows at warp speed. The body is dressed and prepared for burial while another family member arranges the funeral mass for that day or the next morning if death is late in day. There is no embalming (available but very expensive). There may be a brief wake or visitation before the mass. After the mass is when the above “Funeral Train” begins as a hearse, covered in flowers, slowly drives to the cemetery with everyone following on foot, family members first. There is sometimes some low moaning or crying as they slowly walk to the cemetery.

This is the second funeral train I have come upon. I also posted a photo of the first which was much smaller and in a residential neighborhood.

And in spite of an occasional funeral, Costa Rica is still the Number 1 Happiest Country in the world. I just found another website listing of the happy that put us at #1:
Thanks to Natalie for this one!