San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Habitat for Humanity to give homeless Costa Rica quake victims new digs

More than a dozen families whose homes were toppled in Costa Rica´s Jan. 8 earthquake are looking forward to new permanent houses thanks to a project by the charity Habitat for Humanity Costa Rica (HPHCR).

Habitat has begun prepping sugarcane farmland in Tambor, Alajuela, northwest of San José, to make it ready for the construction of a 13-family residential area, HPHCR said. The project is being financed by a ¢120 million ($210,000) donation from the company Florida Bebidas.

By the first week of June, Habitat plans to have mapped out the residential lots and areas for such amenities as sewage and sidewalks. On June 22 Habitat volunteers – with the help of Florida Bebidas employees – will begin building homes for the Tambor project slated for completion in the third week of August.

Ten of the 13 homes will be 44-square-meter, two-bedroom units, while the remaining three homes will be 58-square-meter, three-bedroom units. The land area to be developed spans 685 square meters total, according to an HPHCR press release.

The Jan. 8 earthquake razed entire villages in the Alajuela and Heredia provinces when it struck right near Poás volcano, killing more than 20 people and forcing hundreds of families to evacuate their homes.

A house-building charity active in the country for 12 years, Habitat is taking on its first project to specifically help victims of the Jan. 8 quake, said Carlos Vargas, project engineer.

“We work with families in need, not only earthquake victims – but I wouldn´t rule out the possibility of Habitat building more homes (for victims of the Jan. 8 quake) in the future,” Vargas said.

Visit The Tico Times´ free Daily News archive at for extensive coverage of the earthquake.

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