In 2009, a 6.1 magnitude earthquake struck the area, killing 34 and displacing 1244 people from their destroyed homes.
Since then, the Asociacion de Desarrollo a traves de Educacion (ADE) has established itself in the Vara Blanca community to help its inhabitants back on their feet. Tomas Dozier, the founder and director, is originally from Vara Blanca and interrupted his schooling in the US to come back and start this organization to help his home community.
As part of Eastern University's Master of Arts in International Development program ( www.eastern.edu/idev/ ), students must complete an internship with an organization that they are interested in. I have wanted to work with community development for a non-profit organization for some time now, and I am very interested in learning more about microfinance. To that end, for three months this fall (2013), I will be working as a liaison between Vara Blanca community members specializing in trades and the tourism office to set up a market where the community and tourists can meet. Right now, most of the products tourists buy in Costa Rica come from China because those living in tourist areas haven't had access to tourist markets. Thus, I will try to bridget that gap. In addition, I will also be working with a school women's/children's group.
I've never done anything like this, and I've never asked for assistance in this way. However, I feel God asking me to lean on those I care about most. Anything you can give, literally, is helpful. Whether it's $5, $10 or $1000, it doesn't matter. If you feel led to give and are interested, I will share with you the blog address where you can read updates that I will be periodically posting, and you can see pictures and read about my experiences.
No matter what, I need your prayers and good thoughts sent my way. Thank you so much for your support and love! Muchas gracias! Many blessings to you and yours. Bendiciones!
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