In my March 23, 2009 blog post  about Costa Rica I wrote about Casa Luz , a remarkable program that offers a new life for young mothers who have been physically abused and are at high social risk.
As I wrote back then: “Many of the girls at Casa Luz became mothers at 12 or 13 years of age. Some were impregnated by their own fathers or family members. Lacking in self-esteem, most of these exploited child-mothers had been relegated to a hopeless life of drugs and sex on the street.”
It's a heart-rending story with a happy ending for most of the young girls fortunate to enter Casa Luz. But not all.
The following Christmas 2012 update from Eldon and Lori Cooke (owners of the Hotel Grano de Oro , in San José ), who founded Casa Luz with their own money in 2002, makes me feel humble and grateful as I look forward to my own Christmas cheer...
”Another year is quickly coming to an end. Each year seems to pass more quickly than the last. It has been a fruitful and active year in Casa Luz. We presently have 13 moms (ages 13 -19) and 15 children (ages 3 days- 5 years) in stage one of Casa Luz. In the stage two apartments we have 2 mothers and their 5 children and a married couple and their 2 children. Agueda is a former resident of Casa Luz and is now working in Stage 1. Her husband works in San José.
There are many activities in the month of December. It is a particularly difficult month for our young moms and as a result also for the staff. There is a feeling of great sadness and abandonment felt by many of the girls who have no family or cannot visit or return to family because of dangerous situations. They are surrounded by reminders of Christmas being a season of celebration with family. The staff works very hard to remind the girls they are doing the best for their children and creating a family of their own by participating in the programs of Casa Luz. Many special activities are planned, to build relationships and remind the families of the many blessings that Christmas brings.
As was mentioned in our last update, we are receiving very young girls from extreme situations of poverty and abuse. The challenge of maintaining a harmonious atmosphere takes on a whole new challenge when you have 12 -15 year olds having babies and needing to be kids at the same time. We are very grateful for the commitment of our house mothers and the adaptability of our staff. Day after day they deal with whatever issues arise, in a positive, cooperative and loving manner. Each mother and child is loved, respected and treated as an individual…
If you love babies and can’t get your fill, this is the place to be. We are thankful for the lives of these children and are reminded of the reason Casa Luz exists...
A very quick update on our construction project. We received word last week that the permits are moving to the final stages and we should have them early in the new year. With 2 more of our stage one families ready to move to the apartments we are anxious to have more space. This will be such a positive start to 2013. We will keep you posted!
Our hearts are full as we wish you all many blessings this Christmas season. We thank you for your continued financial support. Thank you also to the many people who have collected and transported clothing and other needed items to us in Costa Rica. Clothing for 40 moms and children is a major expense for us. We are looking forward to receiving a huge gift of clothing via a Samaritan’s Purse team that will arrive in Costa Rica after Christmas.
You are making a difference in the lives of these young families.
Eldon, Lori and our Casa Luz Family”
Cheques payable to:
(# 080454 Costa Rica, Casa Luz Home)
20 Hopewell Way N E
Calgary, AB T3J 5H5
Or call: 1-800-663-6500
Please designate your donation to the General Operating Fund
Cheques payable to:
House of Light Inc.
P.O. Box 385
Gainesville, GA 30503
Cheques in dollars or colones Payable to:
Asoc. Reaccion en Cadena por Nuestra Ninez
c/o Hotel Grano De Oro
Calle 30, entre Avenida 2 y 4
San José, Costa Rica
For complete practical and background information to Costa Rica, buy the latest edition of Moon Handbook Costa Rica .
If you're traveling only to San José and the Caribbean, buy Moon Spotlight Costa Rica's Caribbean Coast  pocket guide.
If you're traveling only to the beaches of Nicoya, buy Moon Spotlight Costa Rica's Nicoya Peninsula  pocket guide.
If you're traveling only to Arenal and/or Monteverde, buy Moon Spotlight Costa Rica's Arenal&Monteverde  pocket guide.
Learn more about Christopher P. Baker .
Disclosure: I occasionally accept free or discounted travel when it coincides with my editorial goals. However, my opinion is never for sale. The opinions you see in Cuba & Costa Rica Journal are my unbiased reflection of the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Copyright © Christopher P. Baker