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Cisco Systems and Tech Data sponsor house for Costa Rican couple

November 24, 2010




Miriam opens the door to her new home. See more of her story in Lives Changed.

Luis Fernando Monge and his wife, Miriam Vargas, have said goodbye to sleepless nights spent worrying about the leaky roof and the exposed electrical cables combining to cause a fire in their home. They now have the keys to a significantly improved home.

The couple had been living in a deteriorating wood house, where they raised their seven children. The house had been falling apart, however, in many ways putting their very lives at risk. Unable to fix the problems on Luis’ meager monthly pension, and unqualified for a traditional loan, the couple turned to Habitat for Humanity Costa Rica.

The multinational corporation, Cisco Systems, provided a donation of US$15,000 to Habitat Costa Rica. As part of its corporate social responsibility program, Cisco also encouraged its employees to help in the fundraising efforts by matching their contributions.

“We are very grateful, because we never imagined that after fighting for five years to try to fix up our home we would finally be able to achieve this dream,” said Luis, retired at 68 years.

According to Rafael Gutierrez, Habitat for Humanity Board President, the inauguration of this house, “is a cause for pride and satisfaction; to see what a business and a non-governmental organization can achieve together, especially within a sector of the population that has given so much to the country, but that has received so little in return.”

Almost 80 employees and friends of Cisco Systems participated as volunteers in various phases of the construction of Miriam and Luis’ home, which was inaugurated in early September.

“For Tech Data and Cisco, it has been an honor to have participated in this project. We feel that our work bore fruit, and we are satisfied, filled with new energy and above all wish to continue helping people in need through our Social Help Committee,” said Ericka Rojas, Software Department Manager for Tech Data and head of the Social Help Committee.

Luis Fernando and Miriam’s new two bedroom home was built on the same land as their original house. Thanks to additional support from Tech Data, they will also have the resources to add a garden.

To learn more about Habitat for Humanity in Latin America and the Caribbean, click here.