Poverty in Costa Rica

Photo by Tico Times of the slum Triángulo de la Solidaridad
with small child peeking from her home.

This excellent article, Costa Rica’s first slum tour offers visitors a different perspective on paradise, and tells about an organization, “Boy with a Ball,” that is helping to build community in the slums of San Jose and now offers tours of a major slum for tourists as a fund raiser and educational experience about community among the poor. Don’t miss the excellent video clip in it!

Poverty is everywhere including Costa Rica and like most places it is usually worse in the big city. It is also interesting to note that most of the CR poor are immigrants from Nicaragua, Honduras, and El Salvador who came here for better work opportunities than in their home countries. This is not a Global Poverty, Child Mortality Fall Sharply, According to UN.

paradise for everyone, though most are doing better than they did in those neighbor countries. Many of the low-paid house maids are among these immigrants as are some gardeners. Good news is that

Costa Ricans are mostly better educated and have the better-paying jobs. With universal health care and free education through college, there is little excuse for many Tico citizens to live in deep poverty. Immigrants on the other hand have many reasons for living in poverty. I think the fact that most Costa Ricans are very religious, have high moral standards, party a lot and are the happiest people in the world also helps! 🙂 Yet an article in this same newspaper, Tico Times, said in 2014 that nearly a quarter of Costa Ricans live in poverty.   Another 2014 article said Poverty programs enjoy success but jobs would be better. So – poverty continues to be a problem everywhere and there is no easy solution so far beyond us as individuals following the teachings of Jesus as we relate to the poor. And then, maybe that is the solution. 🙂

Tomorrow, Wednesday, 9 July, I will be on a 12 to 14 hour trip to Nicaragua to renew my visa and may not be doing a post tomorrow night! The last “visa run” trip like this left me beyond exhausted. A local tour driver takes a van load of us on this trip every 3 or 4 months. I can live here now without a visa but cannot drive a car or even get a rent car. Like to keep my options open! Once I’m an official resident, I’ll get a CR Driver License. 

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