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HomeChangemakersMobility matters: How one Costa Rica nonprofit has changed thousands of lives

Mobility matters: How one Costa Rica nonprofit has changed thousands of lives

In spite of the difficult times we’re experiencing during this pandemic, we can still experience joyous moments. Just ask Doña Mariana, who turned 106 in times of Covid-19.

Doña Mariana is a lovely and caring woman who raised seven sons and one daughter, is the grandmother of six grandchildren and has four great-grandchildren. She suffered a fall several months ago and fractured her hip, and recovery has been very slow.

When we learned about her case, we helped provide her with a wheelchair to improve her quality of life.

Moments like Doña Mariana’s 106th birthday are the essence of the Do It Foundation, which strives to offer mobility to those who have lost it and, in some way, return their independence. For many, a wheelchair symbolizes empowerment, freedom and hope.

Fundación Do It was created in 2005 by Mr. John Scheman, but his vision of helping began much earlier. For years, he has donated construction material and labor for health and education infrastructure with his company, Grupo Do It, in Guanacaste.

During his time volunteering, Scheman recognized the need that some Costa Rica residents had for a wheelchair. A wheelchair would allow them to have a better quality of life, but many could not afford one.

This was the idea behind the non-profit organization, which has benefitted more than 20,000 families in Costa Rica and this year celebrated its 15th year of existence.

The Do It Foundation primarily donates wheelchairs to low-income families who have a member with mobility problems. Among the beneficiaries have been children, young adults and older adults.

In addition to a network of volunteers, the foundation partners with strategic allies for the distribution, import and logistics of delivery of chairs: Municipalities, nursing homes, development associations, lion clubs, El Lagar, Abonos Agro, Grupo Do It, public and private hospitals, and Free Wheelchair Mission.

“While COVID-19 disrupted our daily lives, it also has the potential to affect our work. Now, more than ever, we are fully committed to our mission to help bring the gift of life-changing mobility to those in need,” said Daniela Cortez, Program Coordinator.

The Do It Foundation continues to receive requests for wheelchair donations and delivers them to those in need under strict protocols from the Health Ministry. To receive a wheelchair donation, one must:

  • Fill out a form with basic personal information.
  • Present the “epicrisis” or medical examination that proves the disability.
  • Provide some measurements of size and length to verify the correct size of the chair.

If you are interested in collaborating with the foundation’s work, making a donation or requesting a wheelchair, you can contact the phone numbers (+506) 2667-0906 and 2667-0912, or WhatsApp 7050-7926.

You can also write to the email address: or visit our website:

This story was sponsored by the Do It Foundation. 

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