Costa Rica - microfinanced training
We believe that education opens a door to independence. A training, which immediately leads to a job, gives the trainee opportunities to economic improvement.
In Guanacaste, we offer microcredit financed trainings in collaboration with Maria Håkansson, a beauty care specialist, teaches manicure, pedicure, facial treatment and waxing. Upon completion of training and experience, the person may begin working with customers to make a living.
We are very grateful to CEPIA, a Costarican non-profit organisation that seeks to promote culture, health, sports and education for children and teenagers from low-income families in the coastal communities of Guanacaste, Costa Rica. They have in a very open-minded way, supported our project and helped us in many ways. They have opened their doors for us, and let us use their locations in Huacas, where the training is held.
The vocational training is mainly related to beauty care. These micro-loans are interest free, repayable according to individual payment plans at a slow pace, as entries permit.
Our experience of small projects with low costs, is good. We worked as volunteers for the Swedish Foundation for Micro Credit in Thailand after the tsunami that occurred in 2004. The Foundation had provided microcredits to 250 small business owners and heads of families on the island Phi Phi. They were fruit sellers, masseurs, jewelry vendors and tourist guides with the long-tail boats, among other things.
After three years, about 70% of the loans were repaid, which is very good, considering it was a disaster, with people who were injured for life and died shortly afterwards. The money came from Swedish companies in Sweden and Swedish hotel in Thailand. Two Thais were involved in the project to facilitate the work of a new culture.
In some developing countries there are a rising tourist industry. Often, a culture shock occurs when the local population feel trampled by foreign visitors and their behaviour. If instead of the tourists are paying customers for the services and contribute to security, these problems can be reduced. This way you can build bridges between cultures in a healthy way.
The tourists have a greater respect for its people if they can enjoy the services offered, such as massage and beauty treatments. The country's population sees tourists as customers, rather than as outsiders.