Tag Archives: costa rica

Situated in the Central American Isthmus, Costa Rica is a land rich in natural beauty including tropical rainforest, volcanoes and lakes. It shares borders with Nicaragua to the north, Panama to the south, the Caribbean Sea to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west.

Thanks to caring people like you, Children Incorporated has helped thousands of children living in poverty in Costa Rica since 1964.

Despite its status as one of the most stable, prosperous and progressive nations in Latin America — and one of the most ecofriendly in the world — Costa Rica struggles beneath a threatened economy and low paying jobs. Profound poverty affects many residents, with roughly 10% of Costa Ricans struggling to make ends meet while trying to survive on only USD 1.25 a day. Poverty in Costa Rica is especially prevalent in rural areas and in certain parts of the country’s capital, San José.

Challenges for Children in Costa Rica

In Costa Rica, children’s very lives and futures are at risk, as poverty leads to lack of educational and basic resources. Right now, children living in poverty in Costa Rica need your help.

  • 1 in 3 children under the age of 18 lives in poverty
  • The COVID-19 pandemic led to a considerable decrease in the average family income
  • The school net attendance rate for children in Costa Rica is only 44%
  • Since 2020, 30% of households in Costa Rica have reduced their food portions to accommodate for loss of wages


Our Work in Costa Rica

Thanks to caring people like you, Children Incorporated has helped thousands of children living in poverty in Costa Rica since 1964.

 We work with our volunteer coordinators in local communities to provide health and nutrition, education, hygiene items, clothes, shoes, and other essentials that help children and families rise above the poverty in which they live.

Our strategy is to focus on individual children through our sponsorship program, ensuring they are receiving exactly what they need on a regular basis.

Your support makes all our work possible for Costa Rican children in crisis.

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How do I sponsor a child in Costa Rica?

You can sponsor a child in Costa Rica in one of three ways: call our office at 1-800-538-5381 and speak with one of our staff members; email us at sponsorship@children-inc.org; or go online to our sponsorship portal, create an account, and search for a child in Costa Rica that is available for sponsorship.

SPONSOR A CHILD

Sources:

https://ticotimes.net/2015/10/29/costa-rica-poverty-hits-young-people-hardest-says-new-survey

https://ticotimes.net/2021/09/09/one-in-three-minors-in-costa-rica-lives-in-poverty-unicef-says

https://www.sos-childrensvillages.org/where-we-help/americas/costa-rica

https://theviolenceofdevelopment.com/one-in-three-children-in-costa-rica-live-in-poverty-unicef/

https://www.unicef.org/media/100591/file/Costa-Rica-2020-COAR.pdf

 

Children Incorporated is thrilled to announce our partnership with the Spirit Airlines Charitable Foundation. To mark fifteen years of flights to San Jose, Costa Rica, Spirit Airlines wanted to give back to children, families, and communities in the area.

“Lanie Morgenstern, the Senior Manager of Corporate Social Responsibility & Strategic Partnerships with Spirit Airlines contacted us and was very enthusiastic about our work in Costa Rica,” explained Children Incorporated Director of Development, Shelley Callahan.

Spirit Airlines is committed to having a positive impact on the world in many different ways through their partnerships with organizations just like ours.

“Lanie felt that our work directly lined up with the mission and vision of the Spirit Airlines Charitable Foundation and wanted to provide immediate educational and basic needs support to children who attend our affiliated sites in San Jose.”

“I also felt that this partnership was ideal for both the children in our programs and for the sites we support. The donation from Spirit Airlines Charitable Foundation will allow our volunteer coordinators to purchase much-needed food items, hygiene items, mattresses, clothes, shoes and school supplies for the children we support,” explained Callahan.

“These items are essential to their health, well-being, and education and we are so grateful for Lanie and the whole Spirit Airlines Team.”

Spirit Airlines is committed to having a positive impact on the world in many different ways through their partnerships with organizations just like ours.

Its website states: “The Spirit Charitable Foundation believes change starts by giving back. We are committed to inspiring positive change in the communities where we live and work. We invest in organizations that have a meaningful social impact on the lives of Children and Families, Service Members and the Environment, through Team Member volunteerism, monetary, and in-kind donations. Every child should have a bright future, which is why we support and volunteer with organizations that focus on developing our next generation. Our efforts improve children’s lives and their future opportunities to learn and grow and become successful members of their communities.”

Thank you, Spirit Airlines Charitable Foundation, for all your support!

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As we reach the end of the year 2018, we want to take time to reflect on what we have been able to accomplish, thanks to our amazing sponsors and donors, over the past year. Because of our supporters around the globe, not only have we provided basic needs for thousands of children at nearly 300 affiliated projects through our sponsorship program, but we have also funded dozens of special programs that expand our reach to even more children, their families, and entire communities. The following are some of our successes that you have made possible – and we are extremely proud to have this opportunity to share them with you.

We are so grateful for each and every person who helped make 2018 such a successful year! We look forward to another great year helping children in need in 2019!

Our accomplishments

– We provided regular aid to thousands of children in eight U.S. states and Washington, D.C. As the heart of our organization, our sponsorship program provided for the basic, health, and educational needs of vulnerable youth, as well as the opportunity for our caring sponsors to correspond with their sponsored children.

– We provided hand tools, seeds, plants, soil conditioners, and other materials to a school in Martin County, Kentucky. Our volunteer coordinator there was selected as a “Healthy School Hero” by Kentucky’s Action for Healthy Kids for having spearheaded the establishment and expansion of a school greenhouse and garden. The students there enjoyed outdoor lessons, continued working and learning over the summer, and took the harvest home to their families.

– We facilitated the attendance of interested children enrolled in our program in Alleghany County, North Carolina at the Junior Appalachian Musicians after-school program. The young students took lessons in traditional Appalachian instruments, like the banjo and dulcimer; as well as in an area of cultural enrichment, like clogging, stories, and singing.

In 2018, we supported children in India with one meal a day during school days.

– We enrolled 25 new children at the Rainbow Center in Ethiopia, 25 at Fortune’s Children at Parang in the Philippines, thirty at the Pinagpala Children’s Center in the Philippines, 25 at the Dandora Community Center in Kenya, and we supported 200 children at St. John’s Community Center in Kenya.

– We provided materials and supplies for a reading pergola and native canyon grape vines at a school in the Navajo Nation in Arizona. The vines were trained up the pergola to provide shade, and students will make jam from the grapes. The kids love the pergola, and our volunteer coordinator at the school has already seen increased reading activity because of it, which means improved literacy.

– We provided additional warm clothing for children attending a special education school in Arizona and at a charter school in New Orleans.

– We supported Backpack Feeding Programs for weekends and holidays for children in Kentucky and Washington, D.C.

– We provided assistance that allowed nine high-achieving graduates who were in our sponsorship program in the United States to attend college.

– We supported children at five schools in India and the Philippines with one meal a day during the school days so that they could stay focused and alert, experience improved physical development, and perform better academically.

– We provided emergency relief for families after a volcanic eruption near Antigua, Guatemala, where our affiliated project Sagrada Familia is located.

We are so grateful for each and every person who helped make 2018 such a successful year. We look forward to another great year helping children in need in 2019!

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HOW DO I SPONSOR A CHILD WITH CHILDREN INCORPORATED?

You can sponsor a child with Children Incorporated in one of three ways: call our office at 1-800-538-5381 and speak with one of our staff members; email us at sponsorship@children-inc.org; or go online to our donation portal, create an account, and search for a child that is available for sponsorship.

SPONSOR A CHILD

When we think about Christmas, we often think about giving the perfect gifts to family and friends. Gift-giving comes in all forms – whether it is buying a loved one a sweater, writing a poem for them, or making them dinner – it is a meaningful way to show others that you care. For sponsors Bill and Ilene Hafker, their idea of gift-giving is to help children in need, involving their friends in the process, and giving Bill’s mother what they knew she would consider to be the perfect Christmas gift.

We caught up with Bill, a retired environmental engineer from Oakton, Virginia, to talk about his sponsorship experience, and how the holidays influenced a different kind of gift-giving.

S.C.: How did you find out about Children Incorporated?

B.H.: It was the early 1980s, and I read about the organization in a promotional brochure that crossed my path. I was in a situation where I was looking for a good cause to support. We have been sponsors for more than thirty years now! Over the years, we have sponsored nearly twenty children.

S.C.: Tell us a little bit about your early sponsorship experience.

B.H.: My wife and I sponsored one child together at first, and then we decided to sponsor a second. We thought this was a worthy cause, and wanted to let our friends get involved, too. When we sent out our annual Christmas letter in 2002, we asked them to contribute to our sponsorship of that child. We called our new sponsorship “The Hafkers and Friends.” As a result of that letter, we received enough contributions to sponsor a little girl from Costa Rica named Maria*. We knew our friends would love to help because they are like-minded people who feel the same way we do about giving back to the world and helping others in need. A few years later, my family and I went to meet Maria at the project she attended, La Milagrosa. We took Maria and her family to restaurants and museums in San Jose, and had a lovely time getting to know Maria, her mother, and her siblings.

We knew our friends would love to help because they are like-minded people who feel the same way we do about giving back to the world and helping others in need.

About ten years ago, we decided to sponsor a third child. Instead of exchanging Christmas gifts with my two brothers that year, or getting my mom a traditional present, which she usually ends up saying she doesn’t need, we decided to sponsor a child in honor and thanksgiving of our mom. Mom’s Christmas gift each year since has been sponsorship of “her” child, and she loves receiving it every time! This year, us three brothers wanted to increase our gift to our mom, so we sponsored a second child for her, and committed to sponsoring both children for ten years.

S.C.: Do you communicate with any of your sponsored children directly? Do they send you letters?

B.H.: There have been times in the past when we have been better at that, but we try to send letters periodically – at least once a year. They write to us as well. I can tell that they are encouraged to do art, and to create a meaningful way to express themselves in their correspondence. It is wonderful to get an update on how they are doing in school, and what they like most about it, as well as to have pictures to see what they are thinking about and how they are feeling.

S.C.: Is there anything else you’d like to share about your sponsored children?

B.H.: We currently sponsor a child named Adnan* who is at a school for the deaf in Lebanon. It is especially rewarding to be able to help a child who needs extra assistance in that regard. Not long ago, we were told by a Children Incorporated staff member that a former sponsored child of ours in India decided to pursue a Doctor of Pharmacy degree and is very close to graduating. We are very proud of him for that, and we’re thankful for what little part we might have played in making that possible.

*Names changed to protect the children.

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As the end of the year approaches, I can say that the Children Incorporated staff as a whole is amazed by what we have accomplished thus far in 2017, thanks to our incredible sponsors and donors. When our President and CEO, Ron Carter, sent out a letter in December of 2016 asking our supporters to help us reach our goal of providing 1,000 pairs of new shoes to sponsored and unsponsored children at our projects in the coming year, we never dreamed the response would be so tremendous.

Just three months after launching our Shoe Fund campaign, our supporters had already donated more than $30,000 to ensure that children in our program in Latin America, Africa, and Asia would receive new shoes. We can’t thank you enough for what you have done for these special young girls and boys.

The importance of shoes

There are a lot of basic needs that children go without on a daily basis – something we understand all too well. Providing basic necessities, like clothing, food, hygiene items, and educational support, to kids is the foundation of our sponsorship program, and we believe that each and every one of these aspects is incredibly important in helping children have a greater chance to succeed in life. So why did Mr. Carter want to focus in particular on getting shoes to kids in need?

“Over the years, we have heard many heartbreaking stories about children who are unable to attend school because they don’t have wearable shoes.”

“Over the years, we have heard many heartbreaking stories about children who are unable to attend school because they don’t have wearable shoes,” says Mr. Carter. “In some cases, children attend school only every other day because they have to share a single pair of shoes with a sibling. We have always made a point of providing good, solid shoes to these children, knowing that shoes can be very expensive. As such, the Children Incorporated Shoe Fund campaign has been one of our most meaningful endeavors.”

1,235 pairs and counting

We are very grateful that our donors understand that items that can sometimes appear small and insignificant can really improve the lives of children. Shoes may not seem like a big deal, but as Mr. Carter stated, it’s sometimes the difference between a child going to school or not.

Because of you, we have provided children at our affiliated projects the Pedro Poveda School, Guarderia El Angel, the Lourdes School, the Santa Clotilde Orphanage, Villa Emilia, the Montero Home, and the Cristo Rey Mission in Bolivia with shoes this year. Thanks to you, children at Hogar Santa Julia and Hogar Santa Maria in Mexico have brand new shoes to wear to school. If it weren’t for you, children at the Dandora Community Center in Kenya, the Rainbow ‘Erdata’ Center in Ethiopia, Chrishanti Lama Sevana in Sri Lanka, La Milagrosa in Costa Rica, and Santa Isabel Ana Seton in Guatemala wouldn’t have received new footwear, either.

To date, we have provided 1,235 pairs of shoes to kids in need, and we will continue distributing shoes in the upcoming months.

Thank you for all that you do to help children – we couldn’t do it without you.

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HOW DO I SPONSOR A CHILD with children incorporated?

You can sponsor a child with Children Incorporated in one of three ways: call our office at 1-800-538-5381 and speak with one of our staff members; email us at sponsorship@children-inc.org; or go online to our donation portal, create an account, and search for a child in that is available for sponsorship.

SPONSOR A CHILD

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.

For the last nine years, during five of which Sister Bertalina has been at Santa Luisa, the 83 children in our program have been receiving food, clothing, shoes, and school supplies upon monthly visits to the home.

The area produces various crops, including bananas, plantains, cacao, and a variety of tropical fruits; agriculture provides little income for the families in the region, however. Among the houses and schools within the Bribri community is the Santa Luisa home for the elderly, which not only serves the aging population, but also provides support for children in the community.

A Surprising Connection

We left San Jose at 4:00 a.m. to make the drive to Bribri; we passed over mountains and then drove along the Caribbean coast until the paved road we had been traveling on stopped, and a gravel path lead us into the jungle, the river to the south visible every so often over banana trees.

When we arrived at Santa Luisa, we saw a community center at the entrance gate, and there was a basketball court in front of it. Directly behind it was the home for the elderly, which consisted of four or five separate buildings connected by walkways. Another home sat on a hill above the driveway, where Sister Bertalina, our volunteer coordinator, was waiting for us.

Sister Bertalina with one of our sponsored children

Upon greeting us, Sister Bertalina explained that she had been our coordinator for two years at La Milagrosa in San Jose — which we had visited just the day before — until 2011, when she came to Santa Luisa.

Before that, she had worked at one of our other affiliate sites, Casa Central, in Guatemala as well. In the last ten years, she has been our coordinator for three different sites in two different countries — meaning she has a lot of experience with how to best support the children in our program.

A Community in Need

Sister Bertalina showed us around the grounds of Santa Luisa, which are well-kept and full of chickens, roosters, and fruit trees — all of which provide food for the residents of the home. Santa Luisa is funded and run by the Costa Rican government.

Ten staff members help care for upwards of 25 elderly residents at a time, and the four Sisters that live on the property help to oversee operations, as well as provide support for the children and their families in the surrounding communities through our sponsorship program.

For the last nine years, during five of which Sister Bertalina has been at Santa Luisa, the 83 children in our program have been receiving food, clothing, shoes, and school supplies upon monthly visits to the home.

Both the young and old are being affected by the delicate nature of their families’ economic situations — all because of poverty.

Although the children and the elderly don’t interact with one another during those visits, in many ways, they go to the home for similar reasons. The elderly there have families who are no longer able help them as they become older and unable to care for themselves. Being a casualty of the cycle of poverty, these families can’t afford to take care of aging parents or extended family members, and they are forced to leave them in the government’s care.

This is something that I have become used to seeing with children in our program, but hadn’t yet seen with the elderly. Both young and old are being affected by the delicate nature of their families’ economic situations — all because of poverty. The elderly residents, just like so many children, are lacking the support they greatly need, and are just as vulnerable as children are.

Living in the jungle

After showing us the Santa Luisa grounds, Sister Bertalina took us to visit the home of two children in our program, only a few-minutes drive away. The visit took us deep into the jungle, where at first glance, it didn’t seem that a path off the main road existed at all.

Blanketed by large banana trees, it was narrow and muddy, and it took us up a steep incline. When we arrived at the wooden two-bedroom house, which was built on stilts on the side of a hill, we were greeted by the father, who held his small son in his arms. His wife and their other son were out, but he told us we would meet them at Santa Luisa the next day, when we were to meet with the other sponsored children in our program.

We provided shoes to children thanks to Because International.

The father explained that the roof leaks whenever it rains, which forces them to bag their clothes and tie those bags to the rafters in order to keep their belongings dry.

The family has little money for food because the father makes a very low wage working banana fields. The youngest son is anemic, which makes it difficult to keep him healthy. As we left, Sister Bertalina mentioned that she wants to buy mattresses for many of these families who sleep on the floor or foam padding. She also wishes she could start a nutritional program for the families so she could provide them with vitamins, as well as instructions on how to eat well.

Neither young nor old

The following day, the children went to the center to meet with us, along with their mothers, and some with their fathers, like the family we had met the day before. The children were excited to meet with us, and it gave them a chance to play on the playground, too.

They ran around together until it was time for us to hand out school supplies and shoes we had brought with us for them to take home. Each child received a pair of shoes from Because International, a book bag, pencils, erasers, toothbrushes, and toothpaste.

It is more than just a home for the old which also supports the young — it is a home that makes a difference for everyone in-between in Bribri, too.

After they received their gifts, the mothers served a large meal of rice, potatoes, and vegetables. After we ate, everyone went home for the day, and we said our goodbyes. The family we had visited the day before came to speak with us — the father, the mother, and the two small boys. The parents, who were neither young nor old, expressed their gratitude for the support they receive from our program, thanks to the Santa Luisa home.

It occurred to me how important Santa Luisa is to this community. It is more than just a home for the old which also supports the young — it is a home that makes a difference for everyone in-between in Bribri, too.

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HOW DO I SPONSOR A CHILD IN COSTA RICA?

You can sponsor a child in Costa Rica in one of two ways – call our office and speak with one of our sponsorship specialists at 1-800-538-5381, or go online to our donation portal, create an account, and search for a child in Costa Rica that is available for sponsorship.

SPONSOR A CHILD