betterArts Launches Fundraiser to Benefit Local Artisans, Cultural Outreach

betterArts has partnered with artisans in Costa Rica to sell a beautiful variety of handmade bracelets from company Pura Vida, proceeds from which provide full-time jobs to local jewelry makers while raising funds for arts outreach in the North Country.

The phrase “Pura Vida” (pu·ra vi·da) means "pure life" in Spanish. The pura vida lifestyle is embodied by the enjoyment of a life lived slowly, the celebration of good fortune, and the refusal to take anything for granted. It's about being free and living life to the fullest; it's an attitude.

Here's the story about how Pura Vida came to be:

A five-week college graduation trip to Costa Rica turned into a business venture for two Southern California friends Griffin Thall and Paul Goodman. Between the beautiful sunsets and rolling breakers, it wasn't long before these two friends began to deeply appreciate the simple Pura Vida lifestyle and culture of the people they encountered. During a visit to a small community in Costa Rica, Griffin and Paul crossed paths with two men named Jorge and Joaquin who were peddling bracelets on the street.


The colorful bracelets were handmade in a simple way that seemed to capture the essence of their journey. Jorge and Joaquin lived in a single room with three beds shared by several other members of their family. Seeing this, Paul and Griffin asked if they would be willing to make 400 bracelets to take back to the United States. Jorge was delighted to make such a sell, and the guys were thrilled to help them out, but to everyones good fortune, soon after returning to the states their friendship blossomed into a full-fledged business relationship.

Upon returning to California, Paul and Griffin decided to put the bracelets into a bowl at a local boutique shop close to home. It didn't take long until they all sold out and people were asking for more. They realized these simple string bracelets were more than just your everyday friendship bracelet, they were a movement. Each bracelet has a unique and different color combination. The hard work that goes into making each bracelet represents the dedication and respect for the beautiful land that we all live in.

This partnership has given Jorge and Joaquin enough business to live comfortably in a house of their own and have 65 of their amigos work with them. Jorge and Joaquin went from selling a few bracelets a week to now over 20,000 a week. Their bracelets are now being sold in 2,500+ surf shops, boutiques, college book stores, and large chain stores around the world.

Pura Vida has now partnered with betterArts for a dual fundraiser: to provide local artisans in Costa Rica with jobs, and to raise moneys for the crucial arts and culture outreach in the North Country that betterArts provides.

betterArts has four varieties available for sale. Each bracelet is $5, which includes shipping anywhere within the Continental United States. To order, email! The bracelets will also be available for sale at all our events throughout 2015.

Mystic Meadows

Rainforest Rendezvous

Mother Earth



Nicole Caldwell

Nicole Caldwell is a self-taught environmentalist, green-living savant and sustainability educator with more than a decade of professional writing experience. She is also the co-founder of Better Farm and president of betterArts. Nicole’s work has been featured in Mother Earth News, Reader’s Digest, Time Out New York, and many other publications. Her first book, Better: The Everyday Art of Sustainable Living, is due out this July through New Society Publishers.