Hábitat para la Humanidad Costa Rica
Habitat's work in Costa Rica
Housing need in Costa Rica
Costa Rica has a 4.5 million population; of these more than one million live in poverty conditions. More than 52% lives in inadequate houses or settlements.
More than 7.000 houses in the country do not have proper water supplies, about 46.000 houses use charcoal or wood burning stoves for their cooking and 1.507 don´t have access to any energy source what so ever for this purpose. Over 6,000 homes have no electricity supply, 7308 homes have dirt floors and about 20,000 households have pit toilets instead of full bathrooms.
We service our priority populations (families with female heads of household, elderly, disabled) with the common goal of providing access to adequate and permanent housing.
Habitat for Humanity in Costa Rica
Over 16 years Habitat for Humanity has built houses for families living in poverty and extreme poverty.
In 1988, Habitat for Humanity began to work in the Costa Rican city of Esparza, building 50 houses in its first three years. In 1991, with the introduction of an ambitious government-housing program that provided houses for the poor, Habitat ceased construction in Costa Rica. In 1996, due to large cutbacks in the government program, and with an estimated 35 percent of the Costa Rican population still living in inadequate housing, Habitat for Humanity was invited to resume its work in San Ramón
Today, more than a thousand homes have been built with the support of government, international churches, Habitat local businesses and Habitat affiliates. Hundreds more have been rehabilitated. Families also receive technical assistance and financial education. Habitat for Humanity Costa Rica constantly seeks ways to extend its reach further, creating more accessible solutions for families with fewer resources.
Programs and projects
Construction projects: Housing projects serve families living in extreme poverty. These type of projects include the construction of a community where the beneficiaries will also receive financial and technical training, home maintenance and community activities.
New Houses: Habitat for Humanity Costa Rica continues to build complete homes. Homeowners invest hundreds of hours of their own labor, helping to build their houses and the houses of others, together with volunteers. Their monthly payments go into a Local Rotating Fund which allows the construction of new homes.
Financial education: This project is aimed at educating and accompanying partner families in the planning and management of the home economy. The manuals and methodology used are the result of a project designed by Habitat for Humanity International. Through a series of workshops, families learn to administer their income and expenses, and learn to design a budget, analyze and control their expenses, and follow a savings plan. Families receive information about the risks and benefits of taking out loans with Habitat for Humanity or other organizations.
Path to wellbeing improvement by improvement: This project seeks to provide access to improvements and / or minor repairs, essential to help improve hygiene conditions and safety of families. The project focuses on five products that will be facilitated improvements: suitable stove, electrical, concrete floors, proper toilets and showers.
Islita Island Project: An innovative project for Habitat for Humanity Costa Rica and seeks to improve the quality of life, welfare and safety of the 15 families living in the island, located on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica. The 15 permanent and adequate houses will be built according to the island context. The houses are built on stilts to avoid flooding when torrential rains and winds, and its architectural design is special to achieve the collection of rainwater by the roof, this is recycled and reused for housework. The solar energy collection by panels for energy production is also being incorporated.
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Learn more about Habitat for Humanity in Latin America and the Caribbean.