Tag Archives: La Carpio

Empowering Communities Through Partnerships: The Costa Rican Humanitarian Foundation’s Work Against Hunger

A Lifeline from Surplus: The Automercado Partnership
In the relentless work against poverty, the Costa Rican Humanitarian Foundation has forged a crucial alliance with the Automercado supermarket chain. This section explores the daily routine of collecting surplus products and transforming them into basic food baskets for the community.

Nourishing Lives: Basic Food Baskets for Diverse Communities
Delving deeper into the impact of the Automercado partnership, this section highlights how the foundation’s outreach program reaches various segments of the community, providing nutritious food to the elderly, single mothers, disabled individuals, unemployed men, and refugees.

Small Business, Big Impact: Food Sustainable Livelihoods
Explore how the earnings generated from the modest sums paid by community members for the food baskets contribute to a sustainable small business enterprise. Learn how more than 50 individuals are supported, creating a positive economic cycle within the community.

Beyond Relief: A Holistic Approach to Poverty
This section emphasizes that the foundation’s efforts go beyond traditional humanitarian aid by promoting healthy eating habits. It introduces the educational sessions on making nutritious juices from rescued raw foods and the impact of these sessions on creating a healthier community.

Community Empowerment: Fostering Solidarity and Awareness
Highlight the foundation’s unique role in fostering a sense of community and solidarity through its programs. Explore how the hands-on educational approach empowers individuals to make better food choices and take responsibility for their well-being.

Sowing Seeds of Well-Being: Long-Term Impact
In conclusion, this section reflects on the lasting impact of the Costa Rican Humanitarian Foundation’s collaborative efforts. It emphasizes the foundation as a beacon of hope and showcases how sustained community engagement and empowerment can create enduring solutions to combat poverty.

New Home, Family Constellations

Building a concrete floor for the new house.

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.

The Boyz on the Corner

As I was driving out today, I came across what we call “the boyz on the corner”. They all remember me as the condom lady from years past when Common Ground worked with them on reproductive health care.

The thing is…today we had a normal conversation. They weren’t all edgey. we talked about the “gangs” of La Carpio and how they longed for more peace and less violence. And how great it could be if we organized an activity where we could all just sit down together…who knows. ? Maybe the time has come, I thought. Finally. Maybe.

A Mother’s Continued Struggle

A mother, with her little baby she is breast feeding, and her oldest daughter who just earned her second degree in patient care. On her way to becoming a doctor. 16 years old…her 13 year old boy is in extreme screaming pain in the hospital after surgical intervention on which they “drained the liquid out of his médula”, she has to choose between staying in the hospital, caring for her other kids and going into witness protection. Which is required. We have provided food for her every day, paid for a woman to watch the kids, and given her the money for the moving truck. Also..our team has given her lunches and tracked down sacks for her to pack in. The ” plan ” of the OIJ is to take the kids in a van with her and her daughter out of the hospital in an ambulance and drive them all five hours away to a house at the edge of the highway in xxxxxx. An hour away from the nearest hospital, the nearest high school and five hours from the school where the daughter studies medicine. They will pay the rent for one f..ING month and then she is on her own. I’m trying to negotiate a house for her nearer to San Jose. I cannot imagine how her daughter will survive being bounced around in an ambulance four hours.

Names and locations omitted for protection.

Cafe Howie

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

A Mother’s Struggle

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.

No images for security reasons.

Pedro and Rescate Soccer Team

In 2007, as part of a college graduation project, Francisco Nystrom created the Rescate Soccer league. This initiative started as a few trainings and matches with just 10-20 youth from La Carpio.

Due to the benefits, demand and interest from community memebers of La Carpio, the Costa Rican Humanitaria Foundation made this an integral part of its program in La Carpio. Since then the CRHF has sponsored thousands of youth to become a part of the sports program.

Thanks to the donations and sponsorships the Costa Rican Humanitarian Foundation receives we have been able to provide the resources needed, including providing stipends to the collaborators in coaching and assistant coaching.

The CRHF has provided CRHF collaborator/soccer coach Pedro and assistant coaches with a stipend so they can continue to assist with the care of 150 youth from La Carpio. We have been doing this for 15 years.

Pedro and the assistants are like father substitute for all of them . The CRHF provides the resources so they can take them to games, to outings, to get the food. We set up their competitions with other leagues. We organizes training sessions. The coaches give them advice and counseling. The coches live in the community and are available 24/7. When they lose a game we console them. When they win, we celebrates.

The Rescate team philosophy is that it is not about the win. It is about the play. The sports program has made La Carpio to be respected and not made fun of. Before and after every game, the coaches do a circle and prepare 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

Persistent Alan Carries On

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.

Celebrating 25 Years – Love Grows

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

And

You were you.

Now

I am you…

And you are me…

And

We are We

It was a sweet evening indeed.

Gail Nystrom

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