Dedicated to Change
established in 2003
At El Puente we are committed to providing community support to those who need it. Donations raised through our programs, go directly to the families who need them in the form of food, supplies and learning tools.
By supporting El Puente’s food program you help to feed people in our community with nourishing soup, fresh prepared vegetables and fruit.
By supporting El Puente’s school program you make it possible for us to provide children with the necessary school supplies and uniforms to be able to get a proper education.
By supporting El Puente’s micro-grant program you are providing support to individuals who plan to use the funds in a sustainable or entrepreneurial way.
what we do
Our Food Program
we feed an average of 50+ people per week
Nutrition is the foundation for community growth
The Community Kitchen is an opportunity for locals to come join us for a meal. It started slowly, with one or two families timidly joining us for a meal.
Every Wednesday we serve a cup of coffee and morning tea from around 9am onwards. On Friday afternoons our volunteers join us to prepare and chop vegetables for Saturday’s soup kitchen. The soup is hand-made every week with high quality, healthy ingredients. There’s always coffee, pure fruit juice and crackers served on the side. Soup is served around 12pm every Saturday.
The food program also provides a safe environment for the community come together and share; it is a space for laughter and joy where people share their skills and feel comfortable to let us know what their needs are. Families come together here to join us for a meal, access the internet or just hang out.
Soup Kitchen mornings are a hustle and bustle of serving, brewing, washing, sweeping, playing, and more. None of this would be possible without the loving, helping hands of our volunteers.
what we do
Our School Program
we Provide 200+ children a year with school supplies
Making education possible for all
Talamanca has changed dramatically since the early 2000s; it has grown and having a proper education means better job opportunities for the future. Public education is free and mandatory by law in Costa Rica however children must have school supplies in order to attend. This proves to be quite a challenge for some families who don’t have the financial opportunities to purchase the necessary school supplies.
Most children enrolled in our school program continue their education until the 6th grade, with some going beyond into high school. Some of the children who live in the jungle cross creeks and walk through muddy areas to reach El Puente where they can use washrooms to clean up and change into their school uniforms.
Our mission with our school program is to make education possible for all; providing school supplies and uniforms to those who need it. We believe everyone has the right to an education. We are the bridge between the jungle and the town.
what we do
Our Micro-Grant Program
we approve two micro-grants per month
Providing financial support to those who
Our micro-grant program is currently a monthly grant, which is allocated to two individuals every month. The grant is to the value of $100 each which we provide to those who need it most. Grant applications are currently processed directly through our on-site managers. Through our other programs Derek and Mery get to know the needs of the individuals who attend El Puente.
Usually preference is given to those with a plan to use the funds in a sustainable or entrepreneurial way. The goal is to see people using the funds to start or build their small business. When granting our micro-grants we always take into consideration other needs which may arise such as an unexpected medical bill or other financial hardship.