Tag: Costa Rica

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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Apr 12 2012

Costa Rica trip shows sponsored child’s renewed hope

CFCA sponsors visit sponsored child in Costa Rica

Susan, Alan and Chuck on a mission awareness trip in Costa Rica.

Charles and Susan Proesel are longtime CFCA sponsors and volunteers. They have six sponsored friends and travel on mission awareness trips to visit them.

Here’s a wonderful testimony from Susan that illustrates the beauty of the friendships that have formed between the Proesels and one of their sponsored children, Alan, in Costa Rica.

In March, we were finally on our way to our long-awaited CFCA mission awareness trip to Costa Rica, “the land of eternal spring.”

This trip would be to meet our sponsored child Alan and his family. We were looking forward to a breath of spring after our long Midwest winter, but what we found was certainly not what we expected.

Costa Rica is a land of many climates, and the western part of the country that we traveled to was parched and hot as a result of the usual dry season. Read more

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Apr 7 2012

Growing in grace and peace on trip to Costa Rica

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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.

Heartfelt greetings from this beautiful country.

We are excited to share these days with sponsored friends, their families, sponsors and staff ó inspiring people on a very real journey.

The CFCA community in Costa Rica has made us feel very much at home. “We would like to live this mission awareness trip with a profound spirit of gratitude to the Lord of life.”

Note: Photo credits go to CFCA staff members in our project in San Jose.

In Costa Rica, we are honored to be able to work with over 7,000 families. Another 500 families have applied to belong to CFCA.

Costa Rica is considered a paradise for ecotourism. We are fortunate to experience many beautiful parts, but we also experience dramatic contrasts.

This trip is a real experience of pilgrimage, which implies joy, sadness, tiredness, pain and hope. Read more

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Feb 3 2012

How mothers are integral to a sponsored child’s success

Mothers of CFCA sponsored children in Costa Rica

Mothers of CFCA sponsored children in Costa Rica.

Heredia is a rapidly industrializing community near San Jose, Costa Rica.

It’s also home to several CFCA mothers groups who are making livelihoods for their families through sewing!

Before joining the mothers groups, many of these moms did not know how to sew. Their economic situations were extremely difficult.

They live in slums, and often their homes are near river basins or dangerous areas threatened by landslides.

Since 2008, these mothers have grown in unity and self-confidence by pooling their collective talents.

Once CFCA helped some moms learn how to sew and make money from their work, they in turned reached out to other moms and mentored them in their handiwork.

Today all 180 mothers in the Heredia groups can sew. They make uniform shirts and rain capes for schoolchildren, working from their homes.

“I feel very motivated,” said Maribel, a single mother raising two CFCA sponsored children. “The money I get (from sewing clothes) is an income for my children and me. This is really a great blessing.”

Read the rest of these mothers’ story.

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Aug 31 2011

Recipe from Costa Rica – olla de carne y verduras

Olla de carne y verduras in Costa Rica

Olla de carne y verduras, or a pot of meat and vegetables, fresh and steaming from Costa Rica!

CFCA serves more than 7,000 sponsored children and elderly in Costa Rica. Our staff members there sent us this recipe for olla de carne y verduras, roughly translated: a pot of meat and vegetables.

This recipe is for four to five people. See the recipe

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Aug 9 2011

CFCA sponsor donates $8,000 for 8,000-mile walk

Richard Ryder, a longtime CFCA sponsor, sent us this beautiful letter and an $8,000 donation ñ $1 for every mile of Walk2gether, which CFCA President Bob Hentzen finished on June 6. Richard graciously gave us permission to share his letter with you, our CFCA community.

Richard Ryder, CFCA sponsor, with Jesus, Kimberline and the children's mother in Costa Rica

From left are Jesus; Richard Ryder; Kimberline, Jesus’ sister; and the children’s mother. Richard sponsors both Jesus and Kimberline, and this picture was taken on his mission awareness trip to Costa Rica.

I meant to send this check when Bob finished his 8,000-mile “miracle” walk, but time got away from me.

I first met Bob on my mission awareness trip to Costa Rica in November 2009 to visit my sponsored “young man,” Jesus.

Bob was instrumental in helping me add Jesus’ sister, Kimberline, to my sponsorship, and I’m forever grateful.

When traveling with Bob on our mission trip, I realized I was in the presence of a modern-day St. Francis, only his name was Roberto.

It was then that I told Bob I wanted to sponsor his walk for $1 per mile. I have kept Bob, Cristina and family in my daily prayers.

Please pass on my prayers and thoughts to Bob.

God bless Bob and CFCA.

Richard Ryder

P.S. Bob can decide where this check can support.

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May 26 2011

Costa Rican moms receive affirmation, dignity from CFCA staff

The CFCA project in San Jose, Costa Rica, recently conducted an “encuentro” or gathering with some mothers of sponsored children to emphasize family unity, promote dignity and strengthen their self-esteem. Jean Carlo Arias, CFCA programs director in San Jose, offers his vision of this gathering.

“Be happy, woman; God has made you a life spring.”

Mothers group encuentro in Costa Rica

Mothers form into small discussion groups during the CFCA encuentro in Costa Rica.

With this phrase by a local CFCA social worker, Leticia Salazar, we gathered more than 100 mothers of sponsored children from the community of Desamparados, southeast from San Jose.

We wanted to motivate them, offer them a way to participate and encourage them in their roles as pillars in their families (most of them were single mothers).

Through motivational lectures and reflections, we tried to show these mothers a vision of the important role they have as mothers in the world and in CFCA’s Hope for a Family program.

“Understanding our real value as women, created as instruments of God to give life, strengthens us very much,” said Lizeth, the mother of sponsored children Yuri Fabiola and Yeudi Antonio.

Most of these mothers live in neighborhoods with economic problems as well as family disintegration.

This is why we try to increase their self-esteem so they can see themselves with love and as agents of change in their communities.

“A mother wears many hats,” said Marilu, the mother of sponsored child Elena. “She can be a doctor, psychologist, teacher, nurse, and adviser. She also is capable of fighting bravely for her children’s well-being. At the same time, we women are willing to progress, become professionals and be successful, in spite of the places and difficult realities we live in.”

Their dignity and value as mothers were strengthened in this meeting, increasing hope in their own homes.

“In this gathering, I learned to value life even more, recognizing that my children are not mistakes,” said Karol, mother of sponsored child Christopher. “They are treasures.”

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