In 2006, a few businessmen from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania visited Costa Rica. After reading (in the Tico Times) an article about the poverty of a group of women and children living in a small shantytown in Tibas, near the Costa Rican capital of San Jose, we felt compelled to go and see the conditions for ourselves.
Upon our arrival, we saw a long, narrow row of tiny shacks built from scrapsof wood, cardboard and corrugated steel. A look inside these shelters revealed dirt floors and furniture made of cinderblocks and boards. This shantytown, called Triangulo de Solidaridad, is home to a group of indigent women and children, many of whom have come to Costa Rica from Nicaragua, hoping for a chance at a better life. They have learned, however, that life is hard, even in their new land. Unable to provide much more for their children than love and leaky roofs over their heads, these women struggle every day to survive.
When we first laid eyes on them, the sad, dark eyes of the hungry children pierced our hearts and forever changed us. We committed ourselves to doing all we could to help the hungry women and children of Costa Rica.
Because the task of providing even one meal a day for over 300 children was overwhelming, we sought the help of others. Through the generous donations from Pittsburgh-based charities and businesses as well as monetary gifts from kind-hearted individuals, these children received food, clothing, shoes, books, toys and personal hygiene products as well as physical examinations and medical supplies.
All of this help and support have been greatly appreciated and have brought smiles to the faces of these little children and the women who love them. Many tangible needs have been met; but the generosity of concerned people has filled an even deeper need. The women have been encouraged. They have been reminded that they are not alone. Others care. God cares and is providing through the generosity of others. Their faith is strengthened, and with faith comes hope. With hope, comes the ability to persevere in seemingly impossible circumstances.