Pack for a Purpose when Traveling to Costa Rica!
Traveling is more than just an opportunity to see the world. It is a chance to have a positive impact on the country you are visiting. Costa Rica may be known for its high level in education and welfare, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any vulnerable members of society in need our support.
Pack for a Purpose was created out of the desire to help local initiatives by providing them with specific supplies they actually need rather than money that might get lost elsewhere. They support organizations across the globe focusing on education, animal welfare, child welfare, socioeconomic development and health.
Pack for Purpose: How does it work?
Pack for Purpose is one of the most simple and yet one of the most effective programs we work with. According to your destination, you and other travelers can choose a charitable organization to support. All you have to do is bring items listed by the organizations we sponsor. We have an updated list of the needed supplies published on the Pack for Purpose site for which the link is provided below. Pack some of the listed supplies and hand it over to a My Costa Rica staff member upon arrival. However, if San Jose is a travel destination on your list, you can also visit the project you are supporting and bring them the supplies yourself. Contact us about the possibilities!
It is important that you only bring things listed! This way you are giving the Costa Rican communities exactly what they need. This way you can have a lasting impact on the community, simply by packing some extra items in your suitcase!
Pack for Purpose: our projects
We are currently supporting two different projects in the Pack for Purpose program as part of the education and child welfare groups. Pick your favorite!
How about bringing some school supplies in your luggage? Educacion Plus is a non-profit organization that actively works to prevent children from dropping out of school. They focus their efforts on urban and rural areas where the concentration of high-risk youth is the highest. 400 children and their families are currently being supported by this program.
Background – School dropouts on the rise
In 2017 it was reported that over 14,000 Costa Rican children wouldn’t be finishing high school that year. Children dropping out of school had been an issue for many years and the ministry of education moved the prevention of high school drop-outs to the top of the list. The minister of education stated that the period following the school holidays are a particular sensitive time for children to drop out and called it a challenge to the nation’s commitment to education.
Educacion Plus’ methods
The methods used by Educacion Plus are very much focused on developing bonds with the children considered at risk of dropping out. They believe that real friendships lay at the heart of a child’s motivation and can also help them to prioritize education. More specifically, Educacion Plus provides supplies needed for school, organize after school programs, and tutor children in need of extra help. Kindness and trust have both proven to have a big impact on children who have often felt they are lacking this in their every day lives.
Hogar Infantil Blanca Flor (White Flower Children’s Home)
This small, local orphanage specializes in the care of infants and toddlers before they are placed with their new families. Their small size (currently around 10 children) means that they have the freedom to take the kids out on trips and visit the local communities with them, aiding in a more well-rounded development.
Background – Economic disparity and orphaned children
We all know Costa Rica to be a country with a high standard of living and a decent amount of welfare compared to its neighbors. And even though that is true, the people below the poverty line are still highly affected by problems of low income (the minimum wage in Costa Rica lies around 400 USD) which is difficult to combine with this standard of living that is only getting more expensive.
UNICEF estimated that around 36,000 children in Costa Rica are orphans. The orphanages of Costa Rica try to fight against the lack of structure, care and discipline in Costa Rican households that could push children into crime, alcohol abuse, dropping out of school, and so on.
Your donations can go a long way in providing for these children and offer them educational opportunities as well as toys, clothes and all the basic provisions a child needs for a stable upbringing.
Make your trip count!
Read more about My Costa Rica’s sustainability efforts and how you can make travel count for more than just happy memories!