Costa Rica

In Costa Rica, we aim to support Indigenous peoples and organizations who work with campesino and migrants.


 

Challenges

Inequality is Costa Rica has risen in the last decade, even though the country has prospered and grown richer. Approximately 20% of Costa Ricans live in poverty, on less than $2 per day. While the Costa Rican government continues to focus on tourism and foreign direct investment, it continues to ignore the Indigenous groups. Unfortunately, this has contributed to serious gaps in education, healthcare, and property and land rights between urban residents, rural residents, and Indigenous peoples.

According to a 2007 report by Anne Herforth, a renowned nutritionist from Cornell University, Indigenous peoples in Costa Rica suffer higher infant, child, and general mortality rates compared to the general population. Additionally, she adds that Indigenous peoples in Costa Rica are more likely to suffer from malnutrition and infectious diseases than the general population.


What We Do

Our engagement with Costa Rica dates back to the early 1980s when we first provided support to Central Americans living Costa Rican refugee camps. In the ensuing years, our program has broadened to incorporate support for Indigenous peoples and to regional organizations that are based in Costa Rica and who work with campesino and refugee populations in the region.

In the past, our partners in Costa Rica include grassroots and non-governmental organizations focused on supporting women’s self-empowerment, the rights of Costa Ricans of African descent, and those living with HIV/AIDS. Our partners are the experts leading local projects in the fight against poverty and injustice in Costa Rica. Additionally, our work in Costa Rica has consisted of:

  • Empowering women; combatting gender-based violence,
  • Promoting equal opportunity for minorities,
  • Improving the livelihood of families living in rural areas,
  • Advocating for improved public policies for people living with HIV/AIDS,
  • Providing agricultural best-practices training to young and new campesino farmers.

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