I would love to do a survey of tourists and Costa Ricans (who live outside of San Jose), and ask them if they have ever heard of “La Carpio”? I suspect most of them, both visitors and Ticos alike, will answer “no.” “La Carpio” is basically the “slums” of San Jose and like most slums, unless you live there or have family there, no one ever visits, much less wants to accidentally end up there while trying to find the San Pedro Mall.
The Women’s Well-Being and Development Foundation (WWD-F) , known in Costa Rica as “Bien de Mujer“, is one of the few local women-designed and operated; non-profit, community-based organizations specifically addressing the well-being, internal and external development, and quality education and empowerment of women and children living in La Carpio. (Just my cup of coffee!)
Previously, I was just a fan and supporter of the quality work of WWD-F; now, I am a volunteer member of this extraordinary, international team of powerful, inspired, and resourceful women. WWD-F might be new to you, but I have done some pro bono consulting with them in the past, as well as actively promoted last year’s big children’s Christmas party.
For the time being, I am taking on various roles with WWD-F which range from promoting this year’s Annual Children’s Christmas Party (which will be held on DEC 21); working on their new website (http://www.wwd-f.org/index.html) as well as assisting in the design of an integrated social media communications and marketing plan; and marketing their new series of children’s books, called Wise Heart Books, which focus on teaching values to children in a fun, memorable way.
Current projects of the Women’s Well-Being and Development Foundation (WWD-F):
- Experiential, uplifting children’s education program called Ilori Educational Program, which includes “playshops”, fieldtrips, and events/activities outside of La Carpio.
- Educational Center Canto Al Sol: a preschool located in Lomas de Tepeyac, San Jose– with programs such as yoga, swimming, music and the arts, in addition to early childhood development education.
- Wise Heart children’s books—which will partially fund all current WWD-F projects
- Women’s Support Group called Granos Solidarios, which is currently working on putting together a small group business, in addition to training and support in conflict resolution; parenting skills; nutrition; self-esteem development; community organization; and holistic health care.
- The Sattva Vita Complementary Health Care Center, located in Guadalupe, San Jose, which is staffed by certified Aryuvedic practitioners and other professional alternative and holistic health providers.
WWD-F just purchased two buildings in La Carpio (and intend to purchase a third building) and are actively in the process of transforming this series of buildings, in the middle of the slums, into an eco-friendly, safe, welcoming, and most importantly, fun women and children’s community education center with everything from an organic garden and playground to classrooms, library and computer lab and more!
For information about WWD-F: http://www.wwd-f.org/index.html
By Kelly N Patterson