Community Service

Please read about our contributions to the community of Pérez Zeledón.

 Mobile Library - "La Biblioteca Movil"

mobile libraryLOGO COMPRESSED

We are delighted - our 'Journey through reading', Mobile Library service for schools in Perez Zeledon, is now on the road!

Thanks to our members for kind book donations, and raising $600, we were able to fill three crates with a lovely selection of 130 books and began our first deliveries to four small schools in May 2015. These schools have between 45-60 pupils; are all in isolated rural areas, mainly in coffee farming communities.

Two of these schools have now introduced dedicated reading time and one has even reduced the children's homework so they have more time to read. This first collection will allow these schools to have a library delivery every six weeks, and retain the books for two weeks.

Whereas we had consulted schools about the library's development, the proof of the pudding is in the eating! The feedback from these first pilot schools has been enormously reassuring and rewarding ~ Here are a few comments received.

San Ramon Norte: We congratulate the Club on this initiative and their promotion of the love of reading. The best part of the project is inclusion of the books from the recommended list of the Ministry of Education

San Jose de Rivas:The motivation the books have awakened in the children has been incredible!

Santa Teresa de Cajon:The books have been a great help in the classroom for daily reading; the children don't have access to books like these in their homes

San Gerardo de Rivas:The collection is very varied and interesting, the children are enjoying their books very much.

As of August 2015 we are now buying the second collection to enable us to enroll the next four schools, waiting eagerly in the wings. It's a challenge – these are schools with between 150-200 children. To ensure no child is disappointed, we need a collection of around 250 books to provide choice for all the cohorts in different age groups. We hope to get that circuit going in September, and to raise enough funds for a third circuit before the school year ends in December.

 Death, Burial and Cremation in Costa Rica: an Information Guide for Expats

DB and C cover

In the spirit of service to the community, the Perez Zeledon International Women's Club tries to address a different project each year. In the past we have held seminars on Insurance, CAJA (Costa Rican Health Care) and Emergency Spanish, all for the larger expat community.

In 2015 we tackled the sensitive subject of Death, Burial and Cremation. With the knowledge that our community is an ageing one, and in response to the experience of recent sad deaths, the Club developed this guidance for its members.

The document contains information on –

  • The certification of death – how death is certified and how it should be registered with the Civil Registry of Costa Rica
  • Burial and cremation – the legal and practical processes
  • Donating a body to Medical Science in Costa Rica – and a reminder on possible organ donation
  • Funeral services (Funeraria) in Perez Zeledon – where they are located, what they charge, and information on the discount available to PZIWC members from Polini Funeraria
  • Other Sources of Help – legal help, Emergency Wardens, and support available for US Veterans

Copies of this document are free to Members of the Club and available to the wider ex-pat community in return for a donation to our Mobile Library Project.

To obtain a copy, please contact Sheelagh Richards at srichards@pziwc.org or make enquiries with any PZIWC club member you may know.


 Hogar Betania Retirement/Rest Home

IMG 4517--150For its first community service project, the Club adopted Hogar Betania, a home for elderly and terminally ill citizens. With no funds at our disposal, members rolled up their sleeves, got dirty together and had great fun transforming a neglected jungle into a well-stocked and colorful garden to brighten the residents' environment.

As a voluntary organization, the home is heavily reliant on good will. Its scarce resources have had to be spent on urgent priorities such as repairing the roof and upgrading the electrical installation. Small gestures such as having dry foods collections, delivering fruit and other garden produce, and fitting the residents with new clothing have been greatly appreciated.  

Intent on fund raising, the idea of producing a recipe book to explain all the weird and wonderful, but unfamiliar, produce of Costa Rica grew - and became a highly successful bilingual recipe book 'There's a frog in my Soup'. This ambitious venture demonstrated not only the culinary skills of our members but also many hidden talents in publication design, marketing and sales. (Some members are now very fluent in Spanish cookery terminology!) Within eighteen months, a remarkable $2.000 has been raised!

Around $600 has been used to buy mobility, rehabilitation and nursing care equipment and to paint a decorative mural on barren concrete walls. The remaining funds, to be used for further environmental improvements, were presented to the home at a Fiesta hosted by the Club in September 2012.

Community-Service-150Over time, many members have developed a very real affection for Hogar Betania, its staff and residents. And many have been stimulated to help in other ways. A visiting member kindly donated $200 which bought valuable new bedding, towels and a commode. Three members – a Professor of nursing, a terminal care nurse, and an occupational therapist, ran a short course on Safe Lifting and Moving for the care staff, most of whom are unqualified and have received very little training. It has been wonderfully rewarding that members with expertise to share have been able to support the home in such a practical way.

Although 'phase one' of this project is complete, we have little doubt that members will want to continue their friendship and support Hogar Betania in different ways in the future. 

  Recipe Book

frog-boiling-100"THERE'S A FROG IN MY SOUP" is a bi-lingual Recipe Book compiled by the Pérez Zeledón International Women's Group as a fund raising project for Hogar Betania, a residence for older citizens in Perez Zeledon.

"Just Joking About the Frog!...."


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