Families served in 2016: 153
- Date when Habitat started working in the country: June 16, 1996
- Families served: 13,915
- Volunteers hosted: 3,924
- Housing solutions: 2,783
Habitat for Humanity in Costa Rica
Since 1996, we have helped more than 2,700 Costa Rican families have access to adequate, proper and permanent housing. This remains our commitment to Costa Rican communities. For more information visit our website: www.habitatcostarica.org
The housing need in Costa Rica
23.5% of the population lives in poverty or extreme poverty, which means that about a quarter of people living in the country do not have the chance to meet their needs.
It is estimated there is a housing deficit of 16.3% in Costa Rica. This means that more than 788,000 people do not have a place to call home. In addition, 40.4% of existing housing is not considered to be in good condition. Additionally to this, 43.5% of households in poverty and extreme poverty are headed by women.
Habitat’s contribution in Costa Rica
Through our three offices, located in San Jose, Guanacaste and the Southern Zone, people can receive support both to build and improve their home; as well as to have access to technical information and training that helps them empower their skills and capabilities and improve their families’ future.
Habitat for Humanity Costa Rica seeks to address the housing situation in the country in a comprehensive manner that tends to the different needs of families. A series of programs focused in areas such as construction, training, volunteering and positioning, and advocacy programs are implemented.
Community intervention: Habitat Costa Rica has a diverse range of training initiatives, always oriented to affect the quality of life of our beneficiary families. Among the topics covered are: managing family finances, healthy living (healthy housing maintenance, water use and management, structural and material quality, space use and distribution), risk prevention at home and cleaning up after floods.
Helping hands: Through various opportunities for constructive, administrative and community volunteering and internships, we have managed to motivate people in Costa Rica and other countries to share their time, knowledge and effort so that more families have an adequate place to live. Another of our programs is the Annual Fund, in which individuals contribute to the organization’s sustainability, so that we can continue working and positioning the cause of adequate housing in the country. adequate housing in the country.
Housing for life: Habitat Costa Rica has two programs available to families according to their specific needs: construction of a new house and repair, expansion or improvement of existing homes.
Meet a Habitat family
Sandra Meza is a woman who lives in the community of La Laguna de Cartago with her father, Gerardo, her sister, Shirley, her children and grandchildren; all in all, 11 people with different needs inhabit the house. Beyond the overcrowding present in this home, there are circumstances that require special attention, since Gerardo is a senior citizen and Shirley suffers from a disability.
The former house only had a small bathroom, with a dirt floor and walls made with waste materials. This situation led the family to participate in Habitat for Humanity’s programs for housing improvements. With the support of P&G, 20 families in the community improved their sanitation by remodeling their bathrooms. Today the Meza family has a spacious bathroom with ceiling, walls and floor, new toilet and sink and safety bars.
“I thought they were going to do something decent in my house because the bathroom I had was terrible. But they exceeded my expectations. Now when I’m bathing I cannot believe this is ours”, Sandra said.
What you can do
You can help families in need of Costa Rica, currently living in unsanitary and overcrowded conditions, by one or more of the following:
Join one of Global Village’s scheduled trips to Costa Rica or organize your own brigade.
To learn more about Habitat in Costa Rica’s programs, please contact:
Andrea Anfossi Gómez, Executive Director