Tico Tiempo



Local Costa Ricans are called Tico”.

Time is defined as “Tiempo”.

First, to understand this term we need to understand Costa Rican lifestyle. They live by the phrase “Pura Vida” which translate to pure life. Values are placed in relationships, personal wellbeing, hobbies, etc. They do things to their heart desires and enjoy the moments they live in.

Costa Rican time (“Tico Tiempo”) means that they will most likely not be on time. My first encounter of this is on the first day of school. My class at University starts at 8:00 am. On the first day students arrive at 7:50 and the professor arrived at 8:05. As several days went on, students caught on and arrived at 8:05 ish.


This way of life has made be question my own inner clock. Back in California, it was important to be on time. Being punctual was a statement of responsibility, respect for others, and drive. With the new adjustment of the concept, I questioned what time meant to me. My life back home was a routine. I’d wake up, go to school, participate in extra curricular, and go home at set times. Often the structure allowed me to mindlessly walk through life, unconscious that I had stop paying attention and most importantly living it.

Here in Costa Rica, the loose interpretation of time has allowed me more time to be conscious of what I was doing. Of course, I still had places to be and things to do, but on the way to doing them I was less concern about the weight of time and rather enjoying the experience to get there.

Until next time, thank you for tuning in.