Costa Rica

Costa Rica means Rich Coast however, I will have to disagree! The Whole Country is Rich, not only the Coast!! Costa Rica is a tiny country of only 51,100 km2; perhaps just a little bigger than West Virginia in the USA, but with 5 million inhabitants. Costa Rica has beautiful beaches, awesome volcanoes and mountains, natural hot springs. Its biodiversity accounts for 6.5% of all the planet biodiversity, 9.9% of its GDP (an important economic indicator) goes into health and 7.6% into Education. We are blessed that in 1948 the army was abolished and that we hold the Nobel Peace Prize (1987). Sounds like a paradise right? Indeed it is; however, the Pura Vida (Pure Life) phrase that characterizes us gets short in covering the whole reality that we live. Poverty, unemployment, lack of access to health services, increase in the number of migrants that stay in our country, saturation of our health system, medical personnel that leave the social system looking for better salaries in the private sector,  are just some of the factors that Costa Ricans have to deal with every day. More and more we find “vulnerable communities” filled with Costa Ricans and immigrants, especially from Nicaragua. These people with no permanent jobs do not have access to the social system services. It is where agencies, such as ISL help to provide people with some basic human services to palliate their most basic needs. That is the other half of the story about Costa Rica. We sure hope to count with you, your generous heart and your feet and hands to help us bring a little more of the Pura Vida to them. Thank YOU for choosing Costa Rica for your next educational, cultural, mission trip! Enjoy paradise and help others! Remember, “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due when it is in your power to do it” (Proverbs 3:27). Gracias! Pura Vida! See you here soon!