• Costa Rica Real Estate

How having a home changes lives

January 18, 2014

In 2006, more than 1,000 families in extreme poverty, most of them Nicaraguan immigrants, were evicted from a shantytown called La Candela behind the Juan Santamaría International Airport, north of Costa Rica’s capital.

The community pleaded with government officials for more time: Parents wanted their children to finish the school year, and they had to find affordable places to live.

But in just two weeks, the shantytown was cleared of its residents, and the shacks were destroyed. (The Tico Times reported on this on April 21, 2006.)

In response, a group of women from several communities organized a housing association, the Mothers-Teachers Association Project, and with the help of a priest and many donors, worked for seven years until they finally were able to own their own homes.

More than 80 families founded the association, but only 23 remained at the end. Eleven of those families are from La Candela.

The seven-year process was marked by challenges met with hard work and perseverance. Each family saved about $1,000, worked at monthly fundraising events and sold raffle tickets, produce and other food. But the hardest part, the families say, was dealing with discrimination and what they describe as “swindles” by public and private organizations.

To buy each lot and build each home, families received a grant from the Costa Rican government of $28,000. Their status as immigrants made it extremely difficult to obtain this grant. Members of the association saved money and raised more than $120,000 to pay for construction and land.

Three years ago, the first few homes were turned over to families who were up to date with association fees and responsibilities. The last key was given to the last family on Dec. 16, 2012. That day, the association threw a party to inaugurate the new community and their new lives.

The families of the Mothers-Teachers Association Project say they will never be homeless again. Here are their portraits and their stories.

 

 

You may be interested

Pic of the Day: It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in Costa Rica
Pic of the Day
39 views
Pic of the Day
39 views

Pic of the Day: It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in Costa Rica

The Tico Times - December 13, 2019

It’s that time of the year again – when there is absolutely no chance of a white Christmas in Costa…

Costa Rica will receive its first Airbus A350 today
Costa Rica
1219 views
Costa Rica
1219 views

Costa Rica will receive its first Airbus A350 today

Alejandro Zúñiga - December 13, 2019

Friday morning, passengers flying between Spain and Costa Rica boarded one of the industry's most modern airplanes. Spanish flag-carrier Iberia…

President Alvarado signs technical norm, essentially legalizing therapeutic abortion in Costa Rica
Costa Rica
466 views
Costa Rica
466 views

President Alvarado signs technical norm, essentially legalizing therapeutic abortion in Costa Rica

Alejandro Zúñiga - December 12, 2019

Costa Rica's president, Carlos Alvarado, has signed a technical norm that defines when the country's medical professionals can legally perform…

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!