The Long, Hard Summers

Summertime is more difficult for families who struggle to afford food

I felt tears welling up in my eyes as I looked from the practically empty refrigerator before me to the precious little girl standing by my side. I was on a project visit in Eastern Kentucky with one of our volunteer coordinators, and she had arranged for me to see first-hand the conditions in which many of the youngsters in her school are forced to live. On this particular day, we accompanied a beautiful little […]

A Doctor for the Poor

The clinic at Casa Betania serves an entire community in need

Located southwest of the capital of Nicaragua is Boaco, a town that was built on such a steep hill that it is described by locals as having two floors – a first floor with homes and businesses, and then another tier of houses and shops high above the first, considered the second floor. It was fitting to hear that the city is referred to as having two floors because part of our visit to the […]

Escaping Violence at La Recoleccion

In Nicaragua, La Recolección provides safety for children in the “Land of Lakes and Volcanoes”

Almost as soon as we arrived in Managua after our flight from San Jose, I could tell that Nicaragua was vastly different from Costa Rica. As we drove out of the capital city, the jungle landscape we had seen just one day before had been replaced by flat, open land where cows and horses roamed for miles. Along the road to Leon, the second largest city in Nicaragua after Managua, we saw cowboys, both young […]

Helping the Young and Old Alike

Santa Luisa cares for the elderly of Costa Rica as well as children of the community

A five-hour drive from Costa Rica’s capital is the small town of Bribri in the Talamanca region, southeast of San Jose, along the border of Panama. The town is inhabited mostly by the indigenous Bribri tribe, which is comprised of people who live and work close to the Sixaola River, which separates Costa Rica from Panama by just a short boat ride. The area produces various crops, including bananas, plantains, cacao, and a variety of […]

Finding Friendship Through Sponsorship

Children at the Costa Rica Center Grow Up Together

When we first met our volunteer coordinator, Marta, at the Costa Rica Center in San Jose, I could tell she was full of energy. A small Costa Rican woman, she walked quickly down the sidewalk away from our hotel, as Andreia, our International Projects Specialist, and I tried to keep up. When we got to her car, she shuffled us in, having a busy agenda for the day. In the morning, we would be visiting […]

The Trouble with Rain

Families in San Jose Worry During the Rainy Season

In so many countries around the world, drought is a constant worry, causing problems for crop cultivation and keeping impoverished people from having access to drinking water. In San Jose, Costa Rica, in the slum neighborhood that surrounds our affiliate project La Milagrosa, a welfare center that supports more than seventy sponsored children, families have the opposite problem. Instead of the rainy season bringing relief from arid conditions, it causes those families to fear losing […]