Kris Kringle is not just on the minds of eager children at this time of the year. He is also on the streets of San José.
Santa en las Calles is a private, non-profit organization which provides assistance to the less fortunate and homeless. This is primarily through the collection of goods, but the organization also collects and distributes basic necessities like clothes, shoes and blankets.
¨The project of Santa en las Calles has the main philosophy to help homeless people who live on the streets,¨ said Carlos Piedra, one of the organizers, ¨The idea is to bring them a little bit of happiness during these days.¨
A Santa workshop will be Saturday and Sunday at the Colegio de Ingenieros Agronomos in Moravia. All donations must be dropped off before Dec. 8. Then, during the two days of the workshop, donations will be organized, and individually packaged gifts will be created. The volunteers will cook food on Sunday and prepare a plate for each person as well, said the organization.
¨Once we have everything ready, we will go to our different routes that we have planned in order to give away the gifts and food we have,¨ said Piedra. ¨The idea is to reach around 1,500 people.¨ The routes include San José, Heredia and Alajuela.
The organization has been expanding throughout the world. It is now in countries like South Africa and many Latin American nations with a long-term strategy of being a global movement, the organization said.
The concept started in 2006 in Caracas, Venezuela, and began to spread in 2008.
¨Santa en las Calles¨ has persisted thanks to good people who are willing to give some of their time to all of those that have lost everything and wander the streets without a roof or a place they can call home. This year will be the fourth year that Santa has come to Costa Rica to spread some joy with the help of his elf, meaning us, according to the ¨Santa en las Calles¨ Web site. The site also includes a list of collection points for donations.