The Women’s Club of Costa Rica will kick off its year’s work and hear about upcoming plans from its new president, Bonnie Murry, at a luncheon March 11.
A 69-year-old nonprofit organization, the club’s main objectives are promoting friendship among women living in Costa Rica and providing community service with an emphasis on education.
The club’s scholarship program, now 32 years old, provides opportunities for bright high school students who cannot afford to buy uniforms and textbooks. The organization aims to grant 120 scholarships to students in rural high schools throughout the year.
A second project, called “Reading Is Fun,” focuses on supporting libraries and providing library books to elementary schools.
“Many children in public schools in Costa Rica don’t even have textbooks, and certainly not reading or story books,” Murry says. “We want to allow them to realize that reading is fun.”
Murry says the experience of providing the children and schools with books is a “very emotional contribution.”
“The kids just dove into those books,” she recalls. “They were all excited, saying ‘I want to check out this one, and I want to check out this one.’”
Murry, 66, grew up in the U.S. state of Minnesota and went to university there before starting a family and moving to Aspen, Colorado, where she worked as a building operator for 25 years. After retiring, she became involved in volunteer work and headed several organizations over the next 10 years.
She and her husband, Paul, originally moved to Nosara, on the Pacific coast of the NicoyaPeninsula. She served on the town council there, helping to ensure cleanliness in the area and deter squatters. Though she thoroughly enjoyed life on the coast, after six years she felt the need to become part of a larger community.
The capital city of San José and the Women’s Club provided the perfect solution.
Murry became a member two years ago, and her dedication and evident passion for the organization and its mission were her stepping-stones to becoming president.
“I joined the club because I was interested in doing something to give back to Costa Rica,” Murry says. “Costa Rica has been good to us for almost nine years now.”
“I believe strongly that if you live in Costa Rica, you should help Costa Ricans,” she adds. “Too many foreigners come here and are critical of the country. If there are things about the country you don’t like – the roads, the corruption or the crime – then do your part to change it.”
Murry says one important way of doing this is to change the mind-sets of children; she hopes “Reading Is Fun” is a step in the right direction.
The next Women’s Club luncheon will take place March 11 at 11:30 a.m. at the Aurola Holiday Inn in downtown San José. A buffet lunch will be provided, as well as entertainment in the form of guitar and flamenco dancing performances. For tickets and information, call 2293-6548 or 2267-7042, or visit wccr.org.