Jill Biden, First Lady of the United States, landed in Costa Rica on Saturday May 21, at 3:40 p.m., at Terminal 2 of the Juan Santamaria International Airport. Upon her arrival, she was welcomed by Signe Zeicate, First Lady of Costa Rica and a group of students.
This is Biden’s first official visit to Costa Rica since she became First Lady in January 2021.
Shortly after arriving to the country, the First Lady met with a group of 16 women entrepreneurs who, over the past few years, have participated in business mentoring and empowerment programs for women in emerging countries.
Biden highlighted the importance of women-led entrepreneurship, which she said helps create calmer and more stable societies.
“Empowered women drive our economies and invest in their families,” Jill Biden noted.
In addition, she reaffirmed the U.S. government’s commitment to support initiatives involving women’s leadership and thanked the Costa Rican businesswomen with whom she spoke for “demonstrating what women are capable of.”
The U.S. Embassy provides scholarships to support women entrepreneurs to form and promote their business ideas. Specifically, there are three main or major programs: The Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE), the Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI) and the International Visitors Leadership Program (ICLP).
The Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) is an initiative that promotes mentoring, through virtual networking on the DreamBuilder platform, which teaches participants business skills through competitive training and by providing initial funding.
Moreover, the Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative was launched by the US Department of State in 2015. The program aims to empower women and provide exchange opportunities in the US, as well as scholarships.
The International Visitors Leadership Program is aimed at emerging leaders from civil society, government, business and academia who participate in a three-week exchange in the United States.
“We are committed to supporting innovative leaders like this group of women with programs that empower them economically. We know that when women thrive, so do their families and communities,” said Cynthia Telles, U.S. Ambassador, who also attended the event.