Tag: Costa Rica

Diego
Jan 28 2015

‘It’s hard because it’s worth it’

Diego

Diego, a sponsored youth and scholarship recipient in Costa Rica.

Diego faced many challenges when he decided to go to college and study teaching. Classes were far from home, and transportation costs as well as food and education fees began to add up. Although difficult, Diego stuck with it.

“I kept telling myself, ‘this is hard because it is worth it. It will be fruitful someday,'” Diego said.

Keep reading

Don Quique
Dec 15 2014

‘Money goes away. Encouragement fills my spirit’

Don Quique

Luis Enrique shows off piñatas he made for birthday parties to celebrate other sponsored members.

By Alley Stonestreet, bilingual communications manager

Meet Luis Enrique from Costa Rica, better known as Don Quique.

An active man with a big heart, Don Quique is a former construction worker and father of four adult children and grandchildren. He spends his days cultivating his garden with natural fertilizers and making piñatas that he donates to Unbound for birthday parties.

You could say Don Quique isn’t your typical sponsored friend. He’s neither a child nor an elderly man, but he is sponsored. Why?

Unbound does not limit itself when it comes to helping people in the communities we serve. We invite people of goodwill to be part of the Unbound program. This includes those who find themselves in need of assistance because of a disability — physical, mental or otherwise — regardless of their age.

And Don Quique needed that support.

After a brain tumor, two aneurysms and complications from surgery, Don Quique lost his sight several years ago.

He discovered Unbound through one of his grandchildren.

Keep reading

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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