Tag: Costa Rica

Mar 25 2013

Trip to Costa Rica represents ‘a symbol of love’

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“Bob’s notes” are reports from CFCA President Bob Hentzen, who regularly accompanies awareness trip participants. You can see Bob’s full update on his Facebook page.

Photo credits for this report go to Bob Hentzen.

It is a tremendous joy and privilege to be in Costa Rica with our sponsored friends and their families, colleagues and 31 enthusiastic sponsors. Read more

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Mar 21 2013

Family inspires CFCA staff member on awareness trip

Family in Costa Rica

Uriel, and Abdelino with their mother, Hilda, and father, Danilo.

By Leslie Hernandez, CFCA Sponsor Services

Leslie Hernandez works for CFCA as a bilingual communications liaison in Sponsor Services. Read Leslie’s story of hope as she helped a family in Costa Rica realize their dream of building a dignified home.

I participated in a Costa Rica awareness trip last July with CFCA, and the experience changed my life.

I met Abdelino and Uriel, two brothers sponsored through CFCA, and fell in love with their family.

This family lives in poverty and struggles against great odds, yet they are happy and humble people.

Abdelino and Uriel live with their mother, Hilda, and father, Danilo, in a remote village east of the capital, San Jose.

Residents in this region have little or no access to potable water, electricity or paved roads.

The main source of employment in this area is a banana plantation that only offers seasonal jobs. In Limon, bananas and plantain are one of the region’s top sources of income. However, the banana plantation only offers seasonal employment that is never promised and provides a very low pay. Read more

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Nov 12 2012

Costa Rica: Looking beyond rose-colored glasses

Join us as we celebrate Geography Awareness Week with National Geographic and friends. This year’s theme is “Geography: Declare Your Interdependence.”

Many of us think of a tropical paradise when we hear any reference to Costa Rica.

Costa Rica mapTruth be told, it is a country of economic contrasts: posh shopping malls and crowded slums, luxury hotels and thatch-roofed villages.

Tourism and development help some, but leave others struggling to overcome the challenges of poverty.

CFCA serves more than 6,700 children and youth through the San Jose project in Costa Rica. CFCA mothers groups there started with 15 moms. Today, 2,700 mothers of CFCA sponsored children in Costa Rica belong to mothers groups.

Many families in Costa Rica face a harsh reality. They live in slums and near river basins or dangerous areas threatened by landslides.

In these rough areas, hope can seem like itís just out of armís reach. But the CFCA mothers groups can give families a much-needed boost. Read more

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Jul 29 2012

Costa Rica mission awareness trip hits home for travelers

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“Bob’s notes” are reports from CFCA President Bob Hentzen, who regularly accompanies mission awareness trip participants. You can see Bob’s full update on his Facebook page.

It’s a privilege and a joy to share this mission awareness trip with 32 fellow travelers and a dedicated Costa Rican staff. And it’s great to have the youth with us.

“We would like to live this trip with a profound spirit of gratitude to the Lord of Life for having given life to CFCA,” Villalobos said.

As soon as Cristina and I landed in San Jose, Costa Rica, on the afternoon of July 7, we learned that the evening before, July 6, our two CFCA staff leaders for this trip (Jean Carlo and Elizabeth) were hit by a car while riding a motorcycle.

After making a few final preparations for the trip, they were on their way home in heavy traffic. Both are hospitalized, with leg injuries serious enough to require surgery, but medical reports show that they will recover. Read more

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Jul 26 2012

CFCA trip highlights love, solidarity and faith

By Christina Cavanaro, a student from Saint Anselm College who traveled with CFCA to Costa Rica. You can also read an edited version of this blog post at the Catholic Young Woman blog.

Christina Cavanaro with Saida during CFCA trip.

Christina Cavanaro with Saida during a CFCA trip.

When I went with 14 participants to Costa Rica in March 2012, I could not have fathomed the experience we had during our week-long stay.

A group of students from Saint Anselm College of Manchester, N.H., set off to a rural area in Costa Rica to work with CFCA in building a house for a family in need.

We met the family in front of their small house on the outskirts of a small neighborhood in which many Nicaraguan refugees had settled.

Their home, like many in this neighborhood, was built with scrap wood and corrugated metal with one line of electricity.

The family of seven included parents Nelson and Genara, four boys and a young girl. The parents worked hard to provide for their family, but they were simply unable to make ends meet.

The family was chosen by CFCA to live in the house that Saint Anselm would help build. Read more

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Jul 17 2012

How we see success in the lives of families, part 1

Editor’s note: Some of the names of people mentioned in this blog post have been changed to ensure their privacy and protection.

Our goal at CFCA is to help families build a path out of poverty. And we mean it. So we frequently seek to grow and improve our programs.

We want to know if what we’re doing is successful. It matters to us, to the families we serve and to the people who trust us with their support.

We hear encouraging stories of how the Hope for a Family program is changing families’ lives. We thought you might want to hear those stories, too.

Over the next few weeks we’ll share some of our goals with you, along with stories that exemplify how they’re being met in the field.

We hope it encourages you, as it does us, to see hope growing in families.

GOAL: We want families to become self-sustaining, relying on their own income-generating activities to feed their families and plan for the future.

Grupo de madres

Grupo de madres ó a mothers group in Costa Rica learns to sew in order to earn extra income for their families.

CFCA works with families in Heredia, Costa Rica, a rapidly industrializing community about six miles north of San Jose.

The reality for families living in Heredia is harsh. They live in slums and struggle with social problems. Many live in river basins or dangerous areas threatened by landslides.

In a rough area such as this, hope can be just out of arm’s reach. But the CFCA mothers groups, support and income-generating groups for mothers of sponsored children, give these mothers an extra boost.

Marcela and Nora are two mothers of CFCA sponsored children in Heredia who taught 15 other mothers to sew.

These mothers in turn taught members of their CFCA mothers groups. Read more

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Jun 22 2012

Emma, CFCA scholarship student from Costa Rica

By Emma, a CFCA scholar who studies social work at the University of Costa Rica branch at San RamÛnEmma, CFCA scholarship student

Since I was little, my mother always told us, ìYou, your sister and I are family.î And itís true. My mom is Francisca, my sister, Milagro, and yours truly.

This May, it will be 20 years since my father passed away, which means weíve never had a fatherís presence. However, Mom always made an effort to keep us moving forward and to give us, within her means, what we needed.

My mother has worked as a maid since she was 11 years old. Her earnings and the pension we receive for my fatherís death are the only income we have at home.

The CFCA scholarship is a great blessing for my family. Itís a great help for my mother so that she doesnít have to worry about helping me with money to pay for my studies.

I think that without the scholarship, I wouldnít have entered the university because I didnít have the means to do so. All that I have achieved in academics has been thanks first to God, and next to CFCA as a foundation and then to the scholarship because I have been able to pay for all the necessities. Read more

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