SOS Children in Costa Rica

SOS Children Map of Sponsorship Locations in Costa Rica

Costa Rica, in Central America, has for decades stood out from its war-torn neighbours with its higher living standards and the most developed welfare system in Central America. But since the mid-1970s rising oil prices, falling commodity prices and high inflation have dealt a punishing blow to its people, nearly one-fifth of whom now live in poverty.

The charity began its work in Costa Rica in 1975 when SOS Children's Village Tres Ríos/San José was built with ten family houses. Tres Rios is about 11 km from San José, the capital of Costa Rica. Six more houses were added in 1980 where SOS youngsters can live while completing their education or learning a trade. This has since been extended with the addition of carpentry and handicrafts workshops and extra accommodation for girls as well as boys.

In 1982, the 'Hogar Luz' - the House of Light - was added to the facilities to care for seriously mentally and physically handicapped children. The children, most of whom will never be cured, are cared for by specially trained personnel and live in a family structure in spite of their handicaps. It is the only such institution in Costa Rica.

With few programmes in Costa Rica offering short term protection and care to street children, the charity built a Transit Home with six houses in 1996 in Santa Ana on the edge of San José on land donated by the government. The aim is to provide short term care and assessment of further needs in a family type atmosphere. As well as the six houses providing accommodation for 48 children, the transit home has a medical centre, kindergarten and sports facilities.

The second Costa Rican SOS Children community opened in 2000 in Puerto Limón on the Caribbean coast, one of poorest parts of the country with many social problems. SOS Children's Village Limón has ten family houses, providing a home for over 100 children and a kindergarten for children between 3 and 6 years old from both the SOS Children's Village and the neighbourhood.

In February 2000, the charity opened an International College opened in Santa Ana. Modelled on the first International SOS College in Tema in Ghana which was founded in 1990, it will provide secondary education for up to 200 pupils from SOS children and local children alike, with grants from SOS Children for those who cannot afford the fees. The college has thirteen classrooms, laboratories, IT and sports facilities and prepares pupils for university entrance. This college transferred to United World Colleges at the end of the academic year 2006.

In July 1996, a tornado hit Costa Rica causing enormous damage to a third of country and affecting over half a million people. The charity arranged an Emergency Relief Programme and within days 6000 children were being given food and aid. It also helped in the rebuilding of a school and the distribution of educational materials to 2,500 children and young people.

Country Map

SOS Children Sponsorship Locations in Costa Rica

Local Contacts

SOS Children in Costa Rica:
Asociación Aldeas SOS de Niños de Costa Rica,
400 metros norte del Parque de Sabanilla de Montes de Oca,
San José
Postal address:
Apartado postal 37-2070
San José
Costa Rica
Tel: +506/25 33 781
Fax: +506/25 32 461

Costa Rica Child Sponsorship

Next Country: Democratic Republic of the Congo

Schools Wikipedia Return to Schools Wikipedia Home page