All posts by James Francisco Nystrom

TBT ThrowBackThursday – La Promesa

The year was 1997, the CRHF had just been legally founded in Santa Ana. Our volunteer work was centered in this area of Costa Rica. Down the street from the Foundation/Educational Resource Center was a squatter community of around eighty families. (more on the ERC in future posts)

The Beginnings

We mainly focused our volunteer work in La Promesa with single women heads of household, some of who were Nicaraguan refugees. The houses were all made of tin and some wood with dirt floors.

This is when our bunkbed program started with the Boy Scouts of CR. We also had our first theatre presentation called “Your Home Is Where Your Heart Is”

Reallocation

After more than 4 years of squatting the land, the government institutions were able to come to a peaceful resolution and reallocate the community to a low-income housing development. The CRHF served as a mediator and was able to help with the transition.

The houses the government agencies built are a simple but durable design made of prefabricated concrete. The CRHF, with the help of numerous volunteers helped paint and beautify the community, including gardening and cleaning-ups.

Right Action

In 2003 we began the construction of a two-story community center (seen in the picture) which culminated in 2005. This in part thanks to the efforts of national and international donors and volunteers. This center served as one of our first Family Well-Being Centers (FWBC). This is a model we have replicated throughout some of the most impoverished and marginalized communities in Costa Rica.

The community as a whole then reached what our Poverty Reduction Model of Development (PREMDEV) would call a level of Right Action. This means we were no longer needed as they were able to become self-sufficient in a sustainable way. By that time we had already began working in La Carpio and with children living on the street.

Transparency

You can read more in the 2005 year end report, the FWBC’s and the PREMDEV on the CRHF.org website. By clicking on the magnifying glass, you can search for this information using keywords such as “Family well being” or “La Promesa”.

As part of our transparency pillar, we try to make all our projects and financial reports as available as possible. Financial reports are available upon request. Please consider volunteering with the CRHF and for your donations to nonprofits in Costa Rica. Click here to donate or below for paypal. Thank You For Sharing Our Dream!

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#EdWed – Education Wednesday and Dia del Trabajador in Costa Rica

#EdWed. This week we are highlighting Costa Rican Labor Day via the teaching in our Family Well-Being Centers. We are very grateful for the group of collaborators, volunteers and teachers who have joined us over the years to serve the populations we work with. Feliz Dia del Trabajador!

Montessori education is renowned for its unique approach to nurturing children’s holistic development. At the heart of this approach are the four primary goals that Montessori teachers strive to achieve:

Fostering Independence

Montessori teachers aim to cultivate independence in their students by providing an environment that encourages self-directed learning and exploration. Through carefully designed materials and activities, children are empowered to make choices, solve problems, and take ownership of their learning journey.

Promoting Self-Discipline

Central to Montessori philosophy is the belief that self-discipline emerges naturally when children are engaged in purposeful activities that align with their interests and developmental needs. Montessori teachers guide students in developing inner discipline by setting clear boundaries, modeling respectful behavior, and encouraging self-regulation.

Cultivating a Love for Learning

Montessori classrooms are vibrant spaces where curiosity is celebrated, and a passion for learning is ignited. Teachers inspire a lifelong love of learning by fostering an environment of joy, wonder, and discovery. They encourage exploration, experimentation, and inquiry, nurturing children’s innate desire to understand the world around them.

Nurturing Social Responsibility

Montessori education places a strong emphasis on the development of social skills and empathy. Teachers guide students in building meaningful connections with their peers and the larger community, fostering values of kindness, cooperation, and respect for diversity. Through collaborative projects, group activities, and opportunities for reflection, Montessori teachers help children develop a sense of social responsibility and global citizenship.

By prioritizing these four goals, Montessori teachers create enriching learning experiences that not only prepare children academically but also equip them with the essential skills and qualities needed to thrive in an ever-changing world.

A Legacy of Peace on the Day of Abolition

In the heart of Central America lies Costa Rica, a nation known not only for its breathtaking landscapes but also for its commitment to peace and humanitarian efforts. One significant milestone in Costa Rica’s history is the abolition of its military on December 1, 1948. On the occasion of this historic day, let’s delve into the remarkable work of the Costa Rican Humanitarian Foundation, an organization that has played a pivotal role in maintaining the country’s dedication to peace.

Peace

Founded on the principles of non-violence, the Costa Rican Humanitarian Foundation’s Peace mission is concomitant with the countries decision to abolish the military. With the belief that resources traditionally allocated to the military could be better utilized for the well-being of the population, the foundation set out to create a society focused on education, healthcare, and social welfare.

Education

One of the key pillars of the foundation’s work is education. By investing in schools and promoting access to quality education, they aim to empower the youth, providing them with the tools to shape a prosperous and peaceful future. Scholarships, vocational training programs, and community outreach initiatives have become cornerstones of the foundation’s education-focused endeavors.

Healthcare

Healthcare is another critical aspect of the Costa Rican Humanitarian Foundation’s mission. Through the establishment of medical clinics and outreach programs, the organization ensures that healthcare services are accessible to all citizens. This commitment to the well-being of the population reflects Costa Rica’s belief that a healthy nation is a strong nation.

Social Welfare

The foundation’s involvement in social welfare extends to addressing poverty and inequality. By supporting community development projects, providing housing assistance, and fostering entrepreneurship, the Costa Rican Humanitarian Foundation strives to create an inclusive society where every individual has the opportunity to thrive.

As we celebrate the day when Costa Rica made the bold decision to abolish its military, it’s essential to recognize the ongoing efforts of organizations like the Costa Rican Humanitarian Foundation. Their dedication to building a nation founded on the principles of peace, equality, and social justice is a testament to the enduring spirit of Costa Rica. Through education, healthcare, and social welfare initiatives, the foundation continues to shape a brighter future for the people of this remarkable country.

Spreading Holiday Cheer: Donate to the Costa Rican Humanitarian Foundation

The holiday season is a time for giving, and what better way to spread joy than by supporting the Costa Rican Humanitarian Foundation? As we gather with loved ones to celebrate the spirit of generosity, let’s take a moment to reflect on the impact we can make through charitable contributions on this Giving Tuesday.

Making a Difference Locally:
The Costa Rican Humanitarian Foundation works tirelessly to address local challenges and uplift communities in need. By donating this holiday season, you’re directly contributing to positive change in Costa Rica, supporting initiatives that touch the lives of those who need it most.

Empowering Communities:
Your donation empowers the foundation to implement sustainable projects that focus on education, healthcare, and community development. By investing in these areas, the foundation helps create a brighter future for individuals and families, breaking the cycle of poverty and fostering self-sufficiency.

Spreading Hope and Joy:
Imagine the impact your contribution can have on a child’s face when they receive the gift of education, or a family finding hope through improved healthcare services. Your donation becomes a beacon of hope, bringing joy to those who may be facing challenging circumstances during the holiday season.

Supporting Humanitarian Values:
The holiday season is a time to embrace values such as compassion, empathy, and kindness. Donating to the Costa Rican Humanitarian Foundation aligns with these principles, allowing you to actively participate in creating a more compassionate and equitable world.

Creating Lasting Memories:
The act of giving creates lasting memories not only for those who receive but also for the giver. Your contribution to the Costa Rican Humanitarian Foundation becomes a part of your own holiday tradition, reminding you of the positive impact you’ve made in the lives of others.

This holiday season, let’s come together to make a meaningful difference in Costa Rica. Donate to the Costa Rican Humanitarian Foundation on this Giving Tuesday and be a part of the change that transforms lives and communities. Your generosity has the power to create a ripple effect, inspiring others to join in the spirit of giving.

Remember, the true magic of the holidays lies in the love and compassion we share. Together, let’s make this season brighter for everyone. Click here for our different donation options.

Empowering Communities: Gail Nystrom and the Costa Rican Humanitarian Foundation

In the realm of humanitarian work, certain individuals shine as beacons of inspiration, dedicating their lives to uplifting communities and creating positive change. One such luminary is Gail Nystrom, whose impactful contributions through the Costa Rican Humanitarian Foundation have left an indelible mark on the lives of many.

The Genesis of a Visionary

Gail Nystrom’s journey into humanitarian work began with a profound realization – the power of community-driven initiatives to transform lives. In the late 1970s with the Peace Corps, she found herself in Costa Rica, where she witnessed the challenges faced by vulnerable populations. Undeterred by the enormity of the task, in 1997 Nystrom founded the Costa Rican Humanitarian Foundation, driven by a vision of creating sustainable solutions to alleviate poverty and improve living conditions.

Focused Initiatives for Lasting Impact

The foundation under Nystrom’s leadership has been instrumental in implementing a diverse range of initiatives aimed at addressing the root causes of poverty. From education and healthcare to housing and microenterprise development, each program is designed to empower individuals and communities, fostering a sense of self-reliance.

One standout project is the foundation’s commitment to education. Recognizing the transformative power of knowledge, Nystrom and her team have tirelessly worked to provide educational opportunities to those who might otherwise be left behind. Scholarships, health programs, school construction projects, food security and vocational training programs have become cornerstones of the foundation’s efforts, opening doors for countless individuals to build better futures for themselves and their families.

A Ripple Effect of Positive Change

Gail Nystrom’s holistic approach to humanitarian work has created a ripple effect, impacting not only the individuals directly served by the foundation but also the wider community. By fostering an environment of collaboration and inclusivity, the Costa Rican Humanitarian Foundation has become a catalyst for positive change, inspiring others to join the cause and contribute to the collective well-being.

Challenges and Triumphs

No journey of humanitarian work is without its challenges, and Nystrom’s path has been no exception. Economic uncertainties, logistical hurdles, and the ever-evolving landscape of social issues have tested the resilience of the foundation. However, it is precisely in overcoming these challenges that the true strength of Nystrom’s commitment and the foundation’s impact are revealed.

Triumphs, whether large or small, paint a vibrant picture of the Costa Rican Humanitarian Foundation’s success. Improved healthcare access, food sustainability, thriving local businesses, and empowered individuals breaking the cycle of poverty are testaments to the unwavering dedication of Nystrom and her team.

A Legacy of Compassion

As Gail Nystrom continues to lead the Costa Rican Humanitarian Foundation, her legacy is one of compassion, resilience, and positive change. The foundation stands as a beacon of hope, demonstrating that sustainable solutions and community-driven initiatives can create lasting impacts on the lives of those in need.

In a world often beset by challenges, Gail Nystrom’s story and the work of the Costa Rican Humanitarian Foundation serve as a testament to the profound difference one person can make. By empowering communities, fostering education, and addressing the root causes of poverty, Nystrom has not only changed lives but has set in motion a wave of transformation that will resonate for generations to come.

Costa Rica: A Paradise for Tourists and Volunteers Alike

Costa Rica, with its lush landscapes, pristine beaches, and rich biodiversity, has rightfully earned its place as a favorite tourist destination. This Central American gem not only captivates visitors with its natural beauty but also offers a unique opportunity for those seeking meaningful travel experiences through volunteering.

Pura Vida Lifestyle

Costa Rica is synonymous with the “Pura Vida” lifestyle, a phrase that encapsulates the country’s laid-back attitude and emphasis on enjoying life’s simple pleasures. Visitors are welcomed with open arms by the warm and friendly locals, making it a destination where the hospitality is as memorable as the scenery.

Breathtaking Natural Wonders

From the misty cloud forests of Monteverde to the pristine beaches of Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica boasts a diverse range of ecosystems. Travelers can explore volcanoes, hike through dense rainforests, and relax on golden sands—all within a relatively compact geographical area. The country’s commitment to conservation ensures that these natural wonders are preserved for future generations.

Adventures and Thrills

Thrill-seekers will find their paradise in Costa Rica. With activities like zip-lining through the treetops, whitewater rafting on raging rivers, and surfing along the Pacific coast, there’s no shortage of adrenaline-pumping adventures. The country’s topography provides the perfect backdrop for an array of exciting outdoor pursuits.

Wildlife Haven

Costa Rica is a biodiversity hotspot, home to a staggering variety of flora and fauna. Wildlife enthusiasts can spot howler monkeys, colorful toucans, and elusive jaguars in their natural habitats. The country’s commitment to sustainability ensures that ecotourism is not just a buzzword but a way of life.

Volunteering Opportunities

For those seeking a more immersive and purposeful experience, the Costa Rican Humanitarian Foundation offers ample opportunities for community service work. Engaging in community development projects, wildlife conservation efforts, or educational initiatives allows visitors to make a positive impact on the local communities and ecosystems.

Costa Rica has been a pioneer in sustainable tourism and conservation. The government’s dedication to protecting the environment has led to the establishment of numerous national parks and reserves. The CRHF contributes to these efforts by participating in eco-friendly activities and supporting businesses that prioritize sustainability.

Cultural Richness

Beyond its natural wonders, Costa Rica has a vibrant cultural scene. Visitors can explore charming towns, savor traditional cuisine, and partake in local festivals. The blend of indigenous, Spanish, and Afro-Caribbean influences adds depth to the cultural tapestry of the country.

In conclusion, Costa Rica’s appeal as a tourist destination goes far beyond its postcard-perfect landscapes. The combination of warm hospitality, diverse ecosystems, and opportunities for meaningful engagement through community service makes it a favorite among those seeking both relaxation and purpose in their travels. We invite you to join our initiative with the CRHF and provide support to the Costa Rican community. Whether you’re lounging on a sun-kissed beach or actively contributing to local initiatives, Costa Rica welcomes you with open arms and the promise of a truly enriching experience.

Visit To Costa Rica

This was a wonderful group of young student volunteers from Montreal  who the Costa Rican Humanitarian Foundation hosted during their service time. They visited Costa Rica to learn more about the culture and leave a positive impact. They were able to build walls in La Carpio, replacing the old corrugated tin “walls”. They also visited several important landmarks including the volcano and coffee tour. Below is a slideshow created by the leaders Ellen Madoff and Earl Rubin. We thank them very much for creating this wonderful memory of their trip to Costa Rica. We were glad to learn the students enjoyed their time here and maybe more importantly: “the people of this very special community have left a lasting impression on these 28 Canadians!”


Bialik Costa Rica 2017 por globalwide-productions