iCare About

Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a special country and many Ticos (locals) enjoy a decent quality of life. This is not true, however, for many of the country’s very poor and underprivileged.

Costa Rica’s social services are woefully inadequate in many areas. A surprising number of the very poor lead very difficult and sad lives.

Handicapped people, for example, can have an especially hard time.
These people may spend their whole lives living in a car seat or a baby carriage. Social stigma often causes their families to feel shameful, and the handicapped person will rarely have a chance to leave their home.

Mothers may suffer from a widespread belief that the reason she has a handicapped child is that she must have done something very wrong. Sometimes a handicapped person is given relief with a wheelchair donation, only to have their hopes dashed as there was no money for shipping it to their home. Sometimes, the person dies before the wheelchair is finally shipped.

Please look at the Wish List items below. You can help handicapped people, kids, schools, animal species on the verge of extinction, and more. Meet the grateful recipients on your trip, and enjoy being treated when you visit.

Great items to bring ~
  • Educational games and puzzles
  • Books for kids—especially in Spanish
  • Large calculators
  • Blank CDs
  • Memory sticks
  • Typing tutor software
  • Presents for Christmas
  • Clothes and shoes (especially for kids)
  • Adult diapers for the retirement home (or
    provide money for them)
  • Laptops. Both new and used are welcome. (A
    computer repair technician has offered to
    maintain and repair when needed)

“Do Good While Getting Away.”

Choose to be a travel philanthropist as you enjoy Private Custom travel or a Group Departure with iCare Travel.

Wish List Items

Click on the Image to Learn More About the Wish List Item:

$50 Help a Child See and Stay in School

$50 Help a Child See and Stay in School

The public health care system will provide one pair of eyeglasses per person per year. In poorer families, when a kid breaks or loses his or her glasses, the child must wait until the next year to get new glasses because the family cannot afford to replace them. The child may go a long time without being able to read their homework, or see the classroom chalkboard.

Help an underprivileged child who is at risk of falling way behind in school.

$50 Avoid Wheelchair Sadness

$50 Avoid Wheelchair Sadness

It is a very sad thing when a handicapped child who has been living in a car seat or baby carriage for his or her entire life finally receives a wheelchair donation, and then never has the opportunity to enjoy it because he or she passes away before the money is put together to have it delivered. This is not a rare occurrence.

Please help a disabled child have the opportunity to enjoy his or her wheelchair.

Costa rica philanthropic travel

$100 Help an Entrepreneur

$100 Help an Entrepreneur

Do you have a skill set that might help a budding entrepreneur? Marketing, sales, business organization and development, accounting, advertising, etc.—sharing your knowledge in these areas may make the difference between success and failure for a budding entrepreneur.

Cost goes towards materials or services of your choosing.

$120 Help a Child from Being Misdiagnosed

$120 Help a Child from Being Misdiagnosed

Kids in Costa Rica are sometimes diagnosed as being deaf or mentally retarded when their only problem is poor hearing.

Send a minivan of kids for hearing tests from Quepos to San Jose, the capital. Cost includes transportation and lunch for the kids. The tests are donated by a licensed audiologist.

Costa rica philanthropic travel

$150 Show a Rainforest Family You Care

$150 Show a Rainforest Family You Care

Although many schools in Costa Rica are technically “free,” students are required to have their own school supplies to attend class. Many families in the isolated Sarapiqui lowland rainforest areas do not have the means to buy school supplies for their kids. Consider helping a poor rural rainforest child, and show that there are people in the First World who care about underprivileged kids going to school.

Your gift covers three uniforms, three pairs of socks, one pair of shoes, and 20 notebooks. When you visit, meet the child you are supporting, spend some time with the family, and hear about their lives while enjoying a beverage and a traditional treat.

$130 Birthday Happiness for Handicapped Kids

$130 Birthday Happiness for Handicapped Kids

This is a monthly birthday party for handicapped kids who are celebrating their birthday in that month. It is also an opportunity for the severely handicapped kids who rarely get out of their homes to have something to look forward to every month.

The money is for hiring clowns and musicians, buying food and drinks, picking up the kids and their pals …and having a REAL party! The party also provides an opportunity to distribute items that have been donated to the kids.

Schedule your trip to coincide with the birthday party, and see the kids having the best day of their month!

$100 Join a Community Work Project

$100 Join a Community Work Project

Make a difference working alongside the locals. Help with light construction or maintenance at a school or community center, or join a project currently in progress. Do you have a skill set that might be useful? Please let us know. Tool donations are greatly appreciated. Cost goes towards materials and lunch.

$150 Help a Deaf Child Communicate

$150 Help a Deaf Child Communicate

Help a deaf child and family members understand each other! Consider giving the gift of sign language classes. Cost includes transportation to the class.

When you visit, come and meet the child and the family. If you wish, stay a while and experience a slice of Costa Rican home life, enjoy a traditional treat, and the family’s warm “thank you’s.”

$150 The Gift of Alice in Wonderland

$150 The Gift of Alice in Wonderland

We have a list of required novels and books in high demand for 6th grade students, like the Spanish versions of Charley and the Chocolate Factory and Alice in Wonderland. The novels you buy will go to two schools in the Sarapiqui rainforest region.

Come and visit! Copies of the books will be made for the students, and one copy will be kept at the local Learning Center.

$200 Fund a “Charla” Idea

$200 Fund a “Charla” Idea

“Charlas” are gatherings where people come together to brainstorm ideas and discuss issues.

Offer $200 to a local community charla or a women’s charla, and join the gathering to hear their ideas on how best to spend it. Coffee, tea and snacks will be served. You may find this to be great fun!

$200 – $400 Help a Child Hear

$200 – $400 Help a Child Hear

Cost of hearing aids vary depending on the patient’s hearing condition. Right now, a young handicapped girl named Elianette living in Quepos needs one. The audiologist is presently looking for it at good price.

Please contact us if you are interested in helping Elianette hear.

$250 Help a Stigmatized Mother

$250 Help a Stigmatized Mother

In Costa Rican society, it is a common belief that if a mother has a disabled child, she must have done something very wrong.

Help a mother who suffers from the stigma of having a disabled child attend a workshop where she can learn to cope and enjoy her life more. Cost covers hiring the individual to lead the workshop. We will meet the people involved with this project, if you wish.

$360 Seeing is Reading

$360 Seeing is Reading

Some poor Costa Rican kids born with extremely poor eyesight have never seen the world clearly, nor can they read.

Your gift will allow four kids to travel to San Jose for eye exams and glasses. Our aim is to do this every 60 days. Eye exams cost $30 and the glasses are $50. Gas included.

$500/year Help a Child’s Dream Come True

$500/year Help a Child’s Dream Come True

Costa Rican kids learn at an early age that college is the ticket to a blessed life. Consider sponsoring an underprivileged child in the poor Sarapiqui rainforest area so he or she can go to college. Help make a kid’s dream come true!

When you come, visit the child and find out what their life goals are. Would you like to support a child working toward a certain vocation or profession? Let us know.

Each semester you will receive a letter and a picture, and the student will present proof of matriculation and show their grades to the program organizer. Correspondence between you and the child is strongly encouraged.

$600 Help Prevent an Extinction

$600 Help Prevent an Extinction

The Great Green Macaw–one of the most endangered bird species in the world—lives in the San Juan–La Selva Biological Corridor in the Sarapiqui region. Local development has fragmented this rainforest corridor, making it difficult for the Great Green Macaw and many other animal species to access food and ideal mating situations. Please help to prevent the extinction of the Great Green Macaw.

Cost includes trees, labor, organic compost, fertilizer, and monitoring for one year. Visit the location where your trees are planted, and perhaps join in planting a few trees, if you like.

$1,050 Help 50 Kids See a New World

$1,050 Help 50 Kids See a New World

Most of the kids in the Sarapiqui lowland rainforest region have not even traveled 10 miles from their home. Give 50 children the opportunity to see, feel and touch a completely new environment—mountains!

This joyful outdoor experience will open students’ eyes to the beauties of nature, and will further help instill an environment ethic. Students who attend the trip will be responsible for presenting to their classmates what they have seen and learned on the excursion. Trip includes entrance fees, local expert guides, lunch and transportation.

$1,500 – $3,000 Help a Deformed Child

$1,500 – $3,000 Help a Deformed Child

Costa Rica’s health care system does not provide wheelchairs. So poorer kids with cerebral palsy and other diseases grow up in car seats or baby carriages. Often they grow deformed, and develop scoliosis. Right now, three children in the Quepos area are in desperate need of highly specialized and personally fitted wheelchairs.

Please consider helping an especially unfortunate child. A small ‘thank you’ gathering will be given for you when you come, to show our appreciation.

$2,500 The Computers are So Close…

$2,500 The Computers are So Close…

If the Sarapiqui Learning Center can provide a room for computers, they will qualify for a government donation of five or six computers. All they need are the funds to buy the materials and labor to construct a wall in one of their existing buildings. This terrific opportunity lies just outside of the reach of these locals, who live in one of the poorest regions of Costa Rica. Would you like to help them build their wall?

On your visit, see the computer room completed and see kids happily working with computers. And enjoy a small celebration with libations and favorite traditional foods given by the locals to express their gratitude!

$3,500 or $6,825 Help Create Young Environmentalists

$3,500 or $6,825 Help Create Young Environmentalists

Teachers in the lowland rainforest schools are not very well educated in environmental issues. Your donation provides for an Environmental Education Coordinator to give classes at the nine local schools for an entire school year.

$3,500 will cover salary and social security insurance for an NGO volunteer. $6,825.00 provides for a permanent person. Classes will include the construction of recycling and compost areas.

On your visit, come to a class and witness future environmental leaders becoming inspired! Also, enjoy a celebration with traditional foods and libations in your honor.

$5,000 Make a Whole School Smarter

$5,000 Make a Whole School Smarter

The school day is quite short Sarapiqui lowland rainforest children partly because the lower level and higher level kids have to take turns using the same classroom! So the kids only are in class for a short part of the day. Consider donating a new classroom building so the kids can go to a full day of school.

Construction will be either in progress or completed by the time of your visit. A “thank you” party with local favorite foods and drinks will be given in your honor to express the community’s sincere appreciation when you come!

$32,000 From Total Deafness to Hearing

$32,000 From Total Deafness to Hearing

Cochlea implants can make a deaf person hear! And in Costa Rica, these implants are relatively inexpensive compared to other places. Doctors and anesthesiologists are generally willing to donate their time when the patients are either handicapped or impoverished children. The remaining expense is largely the private hospital cost. Would it not be a wonderful thing to give the gift of hearing to a handicapped person or poor deaf child?

When you visit, meet the individual where you gave your blessing, who may have already received the operation by the time of your arrival. Enjoy a small celebration in your honor!