Grecia women’s organization will dance against violence

Photo by Marilynn Pinney Pamela Hopkins leads dancers in rehearsal

A local women’s group called Blooms will dance in Grecia’s Central Park to show their support of a campaign that is sweeping the world.  The event takes place Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in front of Cathedral Mercedes. Music and dancing will be featured, as well as information about the campaign to end violence against women and girls, and women’s institute-sponsored programs in Costa Rica. The public is invited to dance, clap and march along.

There are three billion women in the world and it is estimated that one in three will experience rape or violence during their lifetime.  Recent events of gang rape in India and the shooting of a Pakistani schoolgirl shocked the world.  They were turning points in campaigns that have for years been waged by the United Nations and countless women’s groups.  All of a sudden, the world rose to attention!

The One Billion Rising! Campaign, was created by playwright Eve Ensler in the U.S.A. some 15 years ago. Feb. 14 saw individuals in more than 200 countries dancing to “Break the Chain,” an inspirational song written by Tena Clark, and choreographed by Debbie Allen.  The dance continues now year-round.

“Dancing just one day doesn’t solve the problem of violence against women but is a means of publicizing the need for change,” says Pamela Hopkins, lead dancer for Blooms. “It is a very empowering way for women to demonstrate their care for women and girls who suffer appalling conditions, however far away.”

“The statistics are staggering,” added Blooms spokesperson Joan Dewar. “Now is the time to change the plight of women, and Costa Rica wants the world to know that they care!” The organization gives these statistics:

The United Nations estimates that globally 603 million women live in countries where domestic violence is not yet considered a crime. More than 100 million girls are missing due to pre-natal sex selection. Up to 50 percent of sexual assaults are committed against girls under the age of 16. Up to 70 percent of women report having experienced physical and/or sexual violence. Over 600 million girls are child brides, married before the age of 18.

Blooms is short for “Bloom Where You Are Planted”. The group has existed in the Central Valley since the early 1990s, with the goal of providing support and friendship to English-speaking women new or not so new to Costa Rica. Membership approximates 140 women of all ages from Costa Rica, the U.S.A., Canada, Germany, Britain, France and many other countries.  Membership inquiries are welcomed at 2444-8796 or by email to

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