To improve the health and well-being of children in coffee-picking families, ICAFE partnered with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) in 2020, making a firm commitment to work towards universal health.
Using art, games, and afternoon coffee breaks to promote healthy lifestyles among indigenous families and migrant coffee pickers temporarily in Costa Rica.
In October 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, ICAFÉ and the PAHO country office in Costa Rica signed a cooperation agreement to provide technical support and tools for families in the "Casas de la Alegría" program and other vulnerable populations to take greater control of their health, promoting healthy lifestyles aligned with their own cultural practices.
National Health Weeks were instituted as result of this partnership, offering health education and promotion activities to build knowledge, skills, and practices for healthy habits among children in these communities. The initiative was also extended to host communities in coffee-growing areas, through the Network of Child Care and Development Centers (CECUDI).
In coordination with PAHO, ICAFÉ has also created other spaces to share its message with entire families through the Galerías de la Salud and the Café Comunitario [Health Galleries and Community Café]. These activities have become forums for dialogue and community exchange where children share what they have learned through art, while parents can ask questions and talk about their health needs.
This partnership with ICAFE has clearly helped bring accessible health services to a highly mobile population, which had benefited more than 1,0000 children as of June 2022. It has also led to other opportunities for collaboration and technical cooperation with families with a high level of social vulnerability, moving towards the objective of achieving universal health access and coverage.
Despite being an organization whose mission is not directly related to health, ICAFE is a unique partner for PAHO due to its dedication and work toward ensuring the complete health and well-being of workers and their families, making it a reference for other organizations and other coffee-producing countries in the Region.
For more information
— Costa Rica Coffee Institute (ICAFE)
— Casas de la Alegría
— Health Weeks and Activities in Casas de la Alegría, Costa Rica [in Spanish]
— PAHO and ICAFE hold Health Week for children in coffee-growing areas [in Spanish]
— PAHO/WHO and ICAFE offer Health Galleries and Community Cafes to families in coffee-growing areas of Costa Rica [in Spanish]