Costa Rica has the highest literacy rate in Central America, and tourist guides frequently boast of its free education for all…yet nothing here is truly free, and there are thousands of impoverished families who are at this moment choosing to educate or feed their children.
Free education for all—but you must send your children in approved uniform and footwear. They will not be accepted otherwise. Free education–but the list of supplies is staggering… It fills an entire page—from preschool on up, parents are required to provide the supplies, and generic brand items are often rejected. Not only do children have to purchase notebooks, pencils, markers, scissors, etc., they are to bring to school toilet paper, toothpaste, whiteboard markers, masking tape, paper towels etc. for the classroom. And 150 colones each week (= 25 cents) for photocopies. Plus monthly fees. And the initial registration fee (that schools are not supposed to charge but do). The transportation costs are enormous ($20-$30 month) when you realize that many families in Carpio are living on a few dollars a month…so parents are forced to send their child to the overcrowded local Finca La Caja for 2.5 hours of schooling per day—no English, art, music, computers, physical education or any other extras.
This free education available to all….often costs $200 per child to start of the academic year. Parents must choose: food, or school. Or, “with 5 children under 11 years old, which ones can we afford to send this year?” Some children take off their uniforms and shoes at noon and pass them to siblings who then get dressed to go their afternoon learning…
Christ For the City programs offer hope in the midst of such injustice. Tutoring classes in reading, writing, math and English are held twice a week, to coach elementary school children in reading, writing and mathematics. (The $1 monthly fee is waived if families are unable to pay.) Kids clubs, sports programs and craft times are held at no cost. The clinic offers medical attention to all for $4 a visit, including medications. A recent medical fair provided free health care for over 450 patients. Adults are learning sewing, carpentry and baking skills to generate future income. Licensed psychologists offer free counseling. Young men and women are studying to complete their high school diploma at Life Institute, more Bible studies are springing up, I could go on and on!
The Bible tells us that “those who delight in the law of the Lord are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. “ Praise the Lord, who continues to prosper the Christ For the City programs in La Carpio. I also thank you for your continued prayers and support.
If you’d like to invest in this important ministry, you can donate online at https://christforthecityinternational.cloverdonations.com/missionary/ and look for my name, or mail to the address below. Feel free to contact me with any questions—I would love to share more about specific needs!
Please send your check written to “Christ For the City International” (make a note that it is for “Megan Crow”)
PO Box 390395
Omaha, NE 68139 USA