San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Spreading the Spirit: Charities in Need

AS the holidays approach, many residents and visitors are rushing around shopping for gifts and party supplies. But perhaps what is most in the spirit of the season is sharing our good fortune with others.


The list of worthy organizations in need of donations is long. The following is just a handful compiled by The Tico Times to give readers ideas on how to spread the spirit of thankfulness.


Please note: The bank accounts listed here are in the Spanish name of the organization, unless otherwise noted. All account numbers correspond to U.S. dollar accounts.


Asociación Lucha Contra el Cáncer Infantil. The “Fight Against Childhood Cancer Association” offers palliative care for children suffering from cancer, psychological support for them and their families and lodging for parents accompanying children admitted to the Children’s Hospital. It also organizes activities such as camping, parties and a Make a Wish program to improve the quality of the children’s lives. Monetary donations can be deposited into Banco Nacional account number 141000-0 or Banco de Costa Rica account number 179353-5. Clothes, toys and food donations can be delivered to the association’s San José office at Calle 20, Avenidas 6/4. For information, call 255-0231 or e-mail


Asociación Obras del Espíritu Santo. The “Works of the Holy Spirit Association” supports families in extreme poverty, takes drug addicts to rehabilitation centers, finds wheelchairs and orthopedic instruments for people with physical limitations and organizes a year-end fiesta for poor children. The association is currently constructing a two-floor building with classrooms, more showers, a larger dining room and a computer center. Donations can be made to Obras del Espíritu Santo’s Banco de Costa Rica account, number 234126-3. For more information, contact the association at 226-0303, 226-6098,, or at the Cristo Rey church office, one kilometer south of La Merced Church in San José.


Club Activo 20-30. This group organizes La Teletón, a 48-hour telethon to collect money for the Children’s Hospital. Teletón 2005 ran Dec. 2-3, with the goal of building the Hospital de las Sonrisas (Hospital of Smiles), a tower for critical care. Donations can be deposited year-round into Banco Nacional account number 100-02-000-617058-3. Club Activo 20-30’s office is 150 meters south of Lacner y Sáenz, on San José’s Paseo Colón. For more information, call 233-2030 or visit


Fundación Paniamor. This nongovernmental institution concentrates on prevention of all kinds of domestic violence, child abuse, sexual abuse and human trafficking. For details on making donations, call 234-2993 or visit the foundation’s office in San José, on Avenida Central, Calles 29/33, across from Kentucky Fried Chicken. For online information, visit


Fundación Rahab. This foundation helps former prostitutes develop practical skills, provides childcare and assists pregnant teenagers. Monetary donations can be deposited into Banco Nacional account number 095-002327-4. Baby clothes, food and other donations are received at Avenida 12, Calles 11/13, house #1149. For information, call 221-4908 or visit


Harvest Vineyard. This church is part of a bigger organization that has two charity programs helping children in the southern neighborhoods of San José and supporting single mothers in Heredia, north of San José. Pura Vida Coffee supports the children’s programs in San José, helping Harvest Vineyard to provide kids with food, Bible study programs and computer training to help them get off the streets. In Heredia, pregnant women receive food, clothes and instruction on being good mothers. For information on the children’s program, contact Chris Dearnley at 390-3900; to learn more about the women’s group, call 291-4383 or visit the church offices (Monday to Friday) at Lexicon House in Sabana Oeste, 200 meters north, 100 meters east and 75 meters north of the UCIMED.


H u m a n i t a r i a n Foundation. Based in Santa Ana, southwest of San José, this organization works with nationwide programs helping at-risk populations, including the elderly, indigenous, orphans and former street children, Nicaraguan immigrants and single mothers. Donations can be deposited to the foundation’s Scotiabank account, number 1297. For information, call 390-4192 or 282-6358, or e-mail


Ministerio Amor en la Calle. The“Love on the Street Ministry” takes food and spiritual support to the poor, provides teenage inmates with spiritual guidance and basic needs such as soap, sandals and towels, supports families in marginal neighborhoods and organizes year-end parties for poor children. The ministry also has two shelters for teenagers in need of assistance to overcome addictions and criminal backgrounds. Monetary donations can be deposited into Banco Nacional dollar account number 212183-8 (ASCRIGERE).


Food, school supplies and other kinds of support can be delivered to Amor en la Calle’s San José offices at Avenida 12, Calles 3/5. For information, call 256-2009 or e-mail


Salvation Army. This well-known organization serves the poor, offers rehabilitation for recovering alcoholics and drug addicts, has home schools and daycare centers for children, emphasizes prevention for at-risk children, prepares women for different jobs and organizes year-end fiestas for poor children. All kinds of donations are welcome. Money can be deposited into the organization’s Banco Nacional account, number 67804-5 (Asociación Ejército de Salvación), or brought to the San José office on Calle 3, Avenidas 16/17. For information, call 223-4864 or e-mail


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