The year 2022 marked a return to in-person site visits for our International Division — first to Mexico in May and then to Costa Rica, Honduras and Nicaragua in August.
“Although at times it is difficult because some of the families have to walk two to three hours to get there, they say the support is still invaluable to them, as those that live further away from the Center have the greatest needs by far.”
Today, we hear from our Director of International Programs, Luis Bourdet, about his visit to the Santa Luisa Center in Costa Rica, almost exactly five years after the last trip to this site by our Director of Development, Shelley Callahan.
About Santa Luisa
“The Santa Luisa Center is managed by the Sisters of Charity of St. Vincent of Paul,” said Luis.
“The Sisters run a nursing home to help low-income families in this rural part of Costa Rica, and along with the home for the elderly, they operate a center to support children so they can receive resources as well.”
“The Center is located about 220 kilometers from the capital city of San Jose, in an area known as Bambu, where social services and educational support are minimal. The roads from San Jose to Bambu are treacherous, and the drive takes about six hours,”explained Luis.
“Bambu is an agricultural town, where production of bananas is the main source of income for farmers. Although the Costa Rican government does have public schools available for the children in the area, they often have to walk a long distance to reach the schools, after having little or no food and school supplies due to poverty. The Children Incorporated sponsorship program supports their educational needs, and provides food and clothing for these children.”
Seeing the Center after many years
“The Center’s nursing home is well-cared for and has well-maintained buildings for the elderly.”
“Our sponsorship program is run in a section of the nursing home that has a hall where the sisters do activities with the children. They also host the children and their families on a patio for larger gatherings,” said Luis.
“The Center has a small kitchen to cook for the sponsored children while they are there and a small office/storage area where they keep food and school supplies purchased in bulk, so they can be distributed to the children on a monthly basis.”
“During my visit, we met with a few parents and children, but my visit was cut short because of the travel time to and from San Jose. But before I left, the parents shared that coming to the Center to get food, school supplies, and other commodities once a month is a blessing and a great support for the children’s education. Although at times it is difficult because some of the families have to walk two to three hours to get there, they say the support is still invaluable to them, as those that live further away from the Center have the greatest needs by far,” said Luis.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org; or go online to our sponsorship portal, create an account, and search for a child in Costa Rica that is available for sponsorship.