I have been coming to Costa Rica for the last 9 years with teams doing Mission work. I love this country. I love the climate, the green countryside, the food, the attitude and the people, I don’t even mind the bad light beer they make here ;-). When we come to Costa Rica we usually spend our time teaching on culture and bible. We want the teams who come here under Mission Adventures to know what it is to walk with Jesus, specifically in the country they are serving in.
We also do building projects, like the team of 52 that is currently here from Canada. They are building 3 houses in San Jose for the poor. We also run VBS (Vacation Bible School), do service projects, pray around the country and serve where there is need. To a bunch of youth groups students Costa Rica looks open, fun, friendly and inviting, but what they don’t see and what we have not addressed very much is the horror of human trafficking that happens in this country. Here is an article on the issue of Costa Rica Trafficking from the US Embassy in Costa Rica
“Costa Rica is a source, transit, and destination country for women and children trafficked for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation. To a lesser but increasing extent, Costa Rica is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children trafficked into forced labor, particularly in agriculture, construction, restaurant work, the fishing industry, and as domestic servants. Costa Rican women and children are trafficked within the country and to neighboring Central American countries, Mexico, and Japan, for commercial sexual exploitation. Foreign women and girls from Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Colombia, Russia, and Eastern Europe have been identified in Costa Rica as victims of forced prostitution. The government recognizes child sex tourism as a serious problem, particularly in the provinces of Guanacaste, Limon, Puntarenas, and San Jose. Child sex tourists arrive mostly from the United States, Germany, Sweden, and Italy. Young men from Nicaragua, as well as Chinese nationals, are trafficked to Costa Rica for forced labor. According to anecdotal reports, young indigenous Panamanians may be trafficked to Costa Rica for forced panhandling. Costa Rica serves as a transit point for foreign nationals trafficked to Mexico, Canada, the United States, and Europe. Taken from US Embassy of Costa Rica
As we see more and more people come into this country to share the love of Jesus we need to be addressing these issues. We have a team coming on Monday from Bellevue, WA and I am excited to see prayers happen, hearts broken and hopefully people desiring to come back to this beautiful country with a nasty little secret.