A woman was selling her house so she could return to Nicaragua. Our donor funded the $2500. Only in Carpio can you get a house that cheap. It is being upgraded by Geancarlos so his mother can move into it. She will then leave Geancarlos and his wife Brenda her house which is bigger. Child welfare will then return custody of her two sisters to Brenda. Their mother died after childbirth two years ago. Family constellations in poverty communities are so complex.
It was a three hour interview. With two people from tributación. And guess what? They were delightful. Attentive. Respectful. Kind. Interested. And obviously they had read all the material I had given them.
As luck would have it…a delightful volunteer group of 25 Canadians had changed their schedule so the inspectors were even able to see our volunteer program in action. Truly and much to my surprise the whole experience was great. All our team was on alert and showed their love for our programs.
Our wish came true and we will continue to be eligible for tax exempt donations. The tributación people had read our documents with their hearts. We are all so grateful and happy. Coming next ..the formal written report. And next report period…2025.
This is our first day of “Cafe Howie” named after our donor. We have started small..the four table and chair sets that Alan refurbished. A lovely white linen tablecloth from donations. The sweet rose flower arrangements left over from the gala dinner. Fresh hot coffee. Vegetable health drink. Fresh fruit smoothie. Arroz con leche and atol made with fresh cow’s milk. Wonderful warm homemade sweet bread. And lively music.
This first week is free samples. Next week we will ask c1000 colones for any two products. Humble beginnings but…big dreams
Yesterday we visited Oneida, mother of Osmani who is the 13 year old who is still in the hospital after being caught in a gun incident. Child welfare and police inspectors visited her house on Tuesday. They declared the house inadequate.
She is not allowed to talk to anyone for legal reasons. It is an active investigation . She has to move out of La Carpio. She spends her days and nights between staying in the hospital with Osmani, searching for food and taking care of her other kids. If child welfare makes a surprise visit and finds the kids without a caretaker they can take them all away and she will not be allowed to see them or know where they are.
Costa Rican Humanitarian Foundation goes into action. We loaded her down with food. We will provide her with a child care person. And we will search for a home for her. Somehow we have to get her out of this nightmare. This is such a clear case of severe trauma coming at her from all directions.
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Soccer coach Pedro has 150 youth under his care. He has been doing this for 15 years. He is the father substitute for all of them . He takes them to games, to outings, to get the food. He sets up their competitions with other leagues. He organizes training sessions. He gives them advice and counseling. He lives in the community and he is available 24/7. When they lose a game he consoles them. When they win he celebrates.
His philosophy is that it is not about the win. It is about the play. He has made La Carpio to be respected and not made fun of. Before and after every game he does a circle and prepares the team for what is to come. I think this is Love.
Please consider supporting this cause through a donation to the CRHF. Your financial support is critical to developing healthy communities. Donations can be destined for specific areas of interest, including ‘youth sports’. Thanks for considering us for your giving! Click here to donate
Monday July 3rd, 2023
He’s off…to another round of treatment and operations. This is Alan who had one leg half amputated. But now the knee on the other leg needs work. But.. before.. take a look at this furniture he refurbished. With a donation of seven very used tables and 28 chairs he created a whole new look. He was working until they came to pick him up for his hospital stay.
Tuesday July 4th, 2023
We are happy to have Alan safely back at home after his surgery. He had a lot of fear to overcome because he had surgery in the same ICU that his mother died in. Talk about trauma triggered experience. He has great faith with which to face these situations. The 23rd Psalm has been especially relevant.
We have been providing him with essential goods and services through these difficult times. He is looking at months in a wheelchair….if anyone has an idea for a crafty project with wood for him please let us know. He knows all about painting, varnishing and carving.
Many people talk about the epidemic of violence and hatred that is flooding our lands in the past few years. They are horrified at yet another mass shooting or tiktok post urging people to take negative action. One wonders where is the Good that used to be? How are we to combat this emotional virus that seems all around us?
One group of people committed to the ideals of empathy and compassion seem to have found an antidote to this illness through a systemitized effort that brings together a diverse group of people who believe in a dream. This dream is shared as people learn to show empathy – a heart mind connectio – and compassion – a heart soul connection that fearlessly performs Right Actions to make real change in the lives of many people.
On Sunday May 7, the Costa Rican Humanitarian Foundation or CRHF sponsored its 25th year anniversary with a gala event at the Hotel Marriott in Belen Costa Rica.
After months of preparation, the people of La Carpio displayed the products of their efforts to cure their barrio.
Crafts made by grandmothers, teens and indigenous, bunkbeds as part of a shelter program, basic food baskets, sports activities, educational packages, and much more were on display to that visitors could get an idea of how this organization works.
Our spiral model of development was represented by a large model created out of hula hoops and brightly colored ribbon.
Three theater productions were featured. One with the grandmothers showing how a woman came to La Carpio after her difficult abusive relation. Another presented by the teen girls linked the story of Anne Frank with Covid in Carpio and Ukraine. The third presentation was by the men of our group and is designed to show how youth abuse affects men from Nicaragua.
The Hotel Marriott generously provided a wonderful meal served with all the formality of the day. Surprised to see a fork AND a knife, AND a piece of cloth called a napkin, the members of our sport league Rescate took valiantly went at the cutting of the meat. Meanwhile, the little kids were thrilled to find a bathroom faucet with HOT water coming out,
To make the cultural exchange even more interesting, the guests were interested to see the modified Montessori program that the Foundation sponsors and to learn about our Street children rescue program.
Then the show began….
The “minis” of our Montessori program sang the song “We are the Flowers of the Garden” showcasing their delightful costumes as flowers, sun, rain, and earth. Who could resist the site of little children wiggling and singing a song about nature’s rhythms?
The soccer boys and girls made a pageant of the song “We Are the Champions” complete with a mockup of the wonderful bus we had been donated.
Next, the group of elementary kids sang the song “Prendo una vela”.. l light a candle …to honor 12 of their chosen heroes. The candle they held was in a hand painted bottle with a copy of a painting by Patricia Erickson called “The Moon is a Woman’s Thing”. Each of the children then gifted a candle to the women in the audience. The men were given a hand painted rock with the saying “Upon this rock my church will be built”.
Then, the whole group sang the song “You Raise Me Up” ending with the creation of a human pyramid as the kids raised their arms in gratitude to the audience.
To end the evening, one girl, Francini came out alone and sang our theme song..Love Grows..one by one…two by two…four by four.” She was soon joined by the rest of the group of children from the La Libertad section of La Carpio who repeated the song and its hand movements.
And finally, everyone stood and sang the song together.
Love grows..one by one…two by two…four by four. Love grows round in a circle and comes back to you to knock on your front door.
My final words to everyone:
I was I
You were you.
I am you…
And you are me…
We are We
It was a sweet evening indeed.
Founder and Director
Costa Rican Humanitarian Foundation
We are very grateful for all the people who assisted and supported us in this very important event. We would also like to thank everyone who has supported us through the years and provided the resources to change the lives of thousands of the most vulnerable people in Costa Rica. We hope to have honored your support for our cause. Thank you for sharing our dream!
Proceeds from this activity will go toward:
Libros para todos program for the northern zone
A library program for, about and by indigenous in Suretka Talamanca
A Museum/Library in Amubri de Talamanca
Food baskets for La Carpio
Housing for la Carpio
Small businesses for single mothers heads of household
Creating something beautiful and impactful always has its challenges. We have done a lot of activities to give people a chance to showcase their work over the years. I’m glad to have had past experiences to keep me calm for this upcoming event at the Marriott; Sometimes I don’t know what possessed me to try this experience. But, here we are. The people are so serious and committed to creating a wonderful evening.
The montesori kids have to hold a candle..they practiced yesterday how to hold the candle with Reverence. They have worked so hard to create their visual display of their hero. And they are so attentive to our instructions about how to listen to the music to know when to turn around, when to hold the candle up, when to hold hands…Full attention to our instructions and giving ideas as well. The same with the minis. They are so excited to be dressed as flowers and sun and rain. They are learning that they ARE the flowers in the garden of life.
And the soccer boys…just amazing to see those big strong guys lifting their trophies into the air. The teachers and the Auto Mercado staff and the former street . kids are all preparing their displays to showcase the work they do day in and day out. The grandmothers are practicing their play and creating handcrafts. The teen girls have revamped the scenery for their play and it is so impactful. Harold is creating a scary looking airplane for the scene about Ukrania. We will be making a bus as well. The two French volunteers are hard at work making a giant spiral out of hula hoops. And Katya is busy at the computer creating all the pamphlets and publicity and lists and instructions.
And the indigenous are coming in all the way from Talamanca with their crafts and their necessary presence.
I have a lot of errands to run to keep everyone supplied with what they need. No matter what happens, they will all have the satisfaction of knowing that they have worked hard as a team to create something epic. It won’t be perfect but it will be heartfelt. I doubt I’ll make it through without crying…not for sad, but for happy.
“love grows one by one two by two….four by four…love grows…round in a circle…comes back to …you and knocks at your front door”
It is our honor and privilege to invite you to share in the celebration of 25 years since the establishment of the Costa Rican Humanitarian Foundation. We have been working tirelessly since 1997 to find creative and realistic solutions to complex challenges related to situations of poverty and inequality.
We will provide an evening of gratitude for all the people who have supported, served and received services through the efforts of the Costa Rican Humanitarian Foundation.
Our end of year activities included a visit to Teatro Expresivo to see the delightful play ” A Christmas Carol” adapted to Costa Rican culture. Our chosen kids, who all got highest grades, laughed and got somber at the antics of the actors. Afterwards we treated them to a Cafe Britt hot chocolate and cookie. We are so grateful to Britt for making this activity possible for our population. La Carpio presente. In the front row….interacting with the actors on stage.