This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Finally, the bus is leaving! On the 12th of  August, 38 Ilori children from the community of La Carpio waited anxiously for the bus with their backpacks and a heart full of excitement and anticipation. At about 3:00 p.m. the bus finally left for the Parque del Este, where a 17 members of the Scouts of Costa Rica, led by Evelyn, were waiting to start the adventure which everybody had been dreaming about: a three-day camp!

Getting organized. The group was divided into 5 teams, 2 girl teams  and 3 boy  teams. Each team had its own leader and a name that identified themTigresses, Pumas,  Lions,  Jaguars and Tigers. Each group was given the responsibility to put up their tents and cook their meals.  They assumed these beautifully.

Early in the morning … The activity in the camp started really early, they got up at about 4:00 am! After breakfast, which they prepared, cooperative games were played. Organizing themselves to cook their breakfast, lunch and dinner was a challenge, but the children did very well and no doubt learned a lot from this experience in terms of cooperation, consideration and teamwork.

By the campfire. On Saturday night the campfire served as a beautiful backgroung for each group to devise and present two plays. In this way the children got the opportunity to use their creative potential as well as theirexpression and communication skills.The result was excellent!

Time to say goodbye. Sunday began with breakfast,then play! Cooperative games abounded and so did the morale of the children who by then were fully acclimated and relaxed. The games ended with the Lions being chosen as the best team in the camp.  Nevertheless, all the teams were winners, and thuswere given a gift. It was time to leave.

Can we do it again? Three in the afternoon … the camp was over and the children lined up to take the bus back. With the heart still full of excitement, they all said the same “It is the best weekend I have everhad!” and  “When can we do it again?”

¡Se va el bus! El 12 de agosto en la comunidad de La Carpio, 38 niños y niñas participantes de los talleres Ilori esperaban ansiosos el autobús con sus mochilas al hombro y el corazón lleno de emoción y expectativa.   A eso de las 3:00 p.m.  finalmente partieron hacia el Parque del Este, donde una tropa de 17 miembros de los Scout de Costa rica, liderados por Evelyn,  los esperaba para iniciar la aventura con la que tanto habían soñado: ¡un campamento de tres días!

Organizándonos. El grupo se dividió en 5 equipos, 2 de niñas y 4 de niños.  Cada grupo tenía su propio líder y un nombre que les identificaba: Las Tigresas, Los Pumas, Los Leones, Los Jaguares y Los Tigres.  A cada grupo se le dio la responsabilidad  de armar su tienda de acampar y también de cocinar cada una de sus comidas, responsabilidades que asumieron maravillosamente.

Muy de mañana… La actividad en el campamento empezó realmente temprano, se levantaron ¡a eso de las 4:00 a.m.! Después del desayuno,  que ellos mismos prepararon, jugaron juegos cooperativos organizados con el fin de dejarles una buena enseñanza para la vida.  Organizarse para cocinar su propio desayuno, almuerzo y  cena fue todo un reto, sin embargo los niños y niñas lo hicieron muy bien y sin lugar a dudas aprendieron mucho de esta experiencia en términos de colaboración, consideración y trabajo en equipo.

A la luz de la fogata. Por la noche el sábado una hermosa fogata sirvió como escenario para que cada grupo ideara y presentara  dos representaciones teatrales. De esta forma los niños y niñas tuvieron que recurrir a todo su potencial creativo y habilidades para la expresión y comunicación ¡El resultado fue excelente!

Hora de despedirse.  El domingo empezó con un buen desayuno y luego ¡a jugar!  Los juegos cooperativos  abundaron así como el buen ánimo de los niños y niñas que para entonces estaban totalmente ambientados y relajados.  Los juegos finalizaron con la designación del grupo de Los Leones como el mejor equipo del campamento, sin embargo, todos salieron premiados con un regalo. Ya había llegado la hora de partir.

¿Podemos hacerlo otra vez? Las tres de la tarde… el campamento había terminado y los niños y niñas se alineaban para tomar el bus de regreso.  Con el corazón todavía lleno de emoción repetían unos y otros “¡es el mejor fin de semana que he pasado!, ¿podemos volver?”



Urgent Opportunity to help complete our vision for our women & children’s center!

As you may know, we have been busy transforming two neglected buildings into on our women and children’s community playground and education center in La Carpio; home to our Ilori Children’s Education programs and our local women’s group, Granos Solidarios.  Recently, very serendipitously, the house on the other side of the first building came up for sale, and we knew, in our hearts, this was meant to be for the expansion and completion of our vision for the women and children’s center.

Therefore, we took a huge leap of faith; vigorously negotiated with the owner (bargained down to $17,000 USD total!); and managed to scrape $14,000 USD together, required for the down payment.  We signed the papers on Monday, February 28th –now, we have until the end of March (March 31 is the deadline!) to come up with the remaining $3000 to “seal the deal.”

Therefore, we are appealing to our neighbors, supporters, and fans to contribute to pulling $3000 USD together by March 31.  Twenty dollars here and $50 there, adds up quickly; no contribution is too small!  Already individuals, companies and peer organizations are working with us to make our vision a reality.  A local donated a double-door fridge.  Local companies have pledged to assist us with creating an organic and aesthetic garden, the design and construction of the playground, as well as interior furnishings.

Grupo Armonia, a local collective of environmental professionals and artists, which seeks to connect and facilitate ecological consciousness movements throughout Costa Rica and Central America, and actively promotes the reconnection of humanity with the spirit of the earth through various activities, workshops, and the muy popular “Feria Verde” (Saturday morning Green Farmer’s Market in Barrio Aranjuez, San Jose), has hooked us up with an eco-architect!  They will also be designing and creating a “vertical” organic veggie garden, as frequently used in urban permaculture.

Cemex has already donated a truck load of cement, and Mecco, another local company, has donated a truck of sand and gravel.  In others words, we are getting to our complete vision for the women and children’s center at a rapid pace and all we need to seal the deal is $3000.  Therefore, if there is any amount you can share, please donate here:


Or if you happen to be in Costa Rica, you can always donate directly to the Women’s Wellbeing and Development Foundation, Costa Rica at our bank:

Nombre: BAC San José, Costa Rica
Nombre del banco: BAC San José, Costa Rica
Número de cuenta: 906417993 (Moneda extranjera y americana)
Número de cuenta: 906418017

Thank you again for all your time, consideration, and support.  And before I forget, Happy International Women’s Day!

“If you build it, they will come…”

Thanks to bighearted donations from the Charles and Betti Saunders Foundation, AMURTEL USA and a few local Costa Rican companies, including 40 bags of cement from Cemex, WWDF/Bien de Mujer is currently renovating two concrete buildings in the heart of La Carpio, the slums of San Jose, Costa Rica.  These buildings will become the women and children’s community playground and education center; home to our Ilori Children’s Education programs and our local women’s group, Granos Solidarios.

Anantoliy Yujimets, originally from the Ukraine, with a background in reforestation engineering and over 20 years construction experience, is heading our renovations work with the help of two local workers.  Anantoliy has worked with WWD-F for over 8 years; he previously built the Sattva Vita Holistic Health and Education Center in Managua, Nicaragua.

Our first renovation goal was to break open these cold concrete “boxes” (standard housing in La Carpio), to allow for some fresh air and sunlight.  The second goal was to internally connect the two buildings.  Rooms are being created for a library and entertainment center; arts, crafts and music studio; an indoor play room (for rainy days!); venues for workshops and classes; as well as a community kitchen (funded by the Charles and Betti Saunders Foundation), for instructional purposes, the actual preparation of nutritional meals for the children, and for the Granos Solidarios food preparation business.  Electricity and water systems have already been implemented.

Here are some recent photos, taken just last week, of the work done over the past couple of weeks:

We will continue to keep you updated on the center renovations work.  In the meanwhile, we are meeting at local churches and, sometimes, homes throughout La Carpio, until it is possible to meet in the actual center.  Of course, we can use more help and professional input on both the creation of the playground and the interior design–especially from artists, eco-designers, urban perma-culture specialists, etc. to assist us in making this center a safe, eco-conscious, artistic, and welcoming example to the local community.

*If you have some talents or skills you would like to share, please do not hesitate to contact Aine Ni, WWD-F/Bien de Mujer Director, at . To donate to the creation of this women and children’s community playground and education center in la Carpio: