Again this year expats are making sure that Costa Rican children have a Christmas.
Some 133 youngsters in elementary schools in La Palma and Jicote on the central Pacific coast will benefit, thanks to Brendan Ryan of Rich Coast Realty.
In Jacó some 400 children and 75 families will be the beneficiaries of local Santas, who visit the surrounding rural area Christmas morning.
These are just two examples of how expats are helping Costa Ricans enjoy the holidays.
The La Palma and Jicote school parties are Thursday, and Ryan said he is working with a $1,400 budget from donations by other expats. He’s also looking for volunteers to do the buying and wrapping.
He said he and friends buy gifts in the $8 to $12 range.
“Many of these children would not receive
anything for Christmas without this program, and they look forward to it every year. The joy they get from this is what the spirit of Christmas is all about,” he said. He can be reached at Brendan(at)RichCoastRealty.com
Lynn Gensemer of Chungo Interior Design directs the effort in Jacó.
“The weeks before Christmas the Jacó elves are busy buying, sorting and arranging bags full of stuffed animals, toys of all sorts, toothbrushes and toothpaste, rice, beans, coffee, sugar, candy, cereal and cookies,” she said, adding:
“Plenty of food and toys to completely fill a decorated small stock truck, including sleigh bells! On Christmas morning the sleigh heads to the mountains stretching above Jacó traveling through small villages to distribute the goodies. Santa looks for children of all ages. The only requirement is a smile.”
“There is just nothing like the tear in a mother’s eye when you fill her arms with food,” she said. She can be reached at chungointeriordesign(at)yahoo.com