The Hotel and Restaurante Grano de Oro are the founders and main supporters of their own Social Project – Casa Luz.
The mission of Casa Luz is to break the intergenerational cycle of abuse and sexual exploitation of children in Costa Rica. This is accomplished by providing a safe, loving, Christian environment for at risk young mothers (age 15+) and their children. This environment provides the resources necessary to allow these families healthy and successful reintegration into society.
Casa Luz is a home for young mothers from the age of 15. These girls have been sexually abused and/or exploited, come from extreme poverty and are at high social risk. The home can accommodate up to 14 mothers and 18 or more of their children. It provides shelter, emotional support, educational and vocational development, Christian spiritual counseling and training in parenting skills. Casa Luz is the first stage of the vision to change the lives of these girls and their children.
The young mothers arrive with many needs and the process of helping these girls heal is very labor intensive. There are currently four fulltime and one half time live-in house mothers (two on duty at all times), a director, a psychologist, a social worker, a daycare/pre kinder teacher, a school teacher, two nursery workers and a cook, providing 24 hour care and counseling. On average each mother and her children need a minimum of two years in the first stage of fully dependent living at Casa Luz.
The long term goal for these girls is to help them realize they can live socially, healthy lives and have a productive future. Unconditional love, acceptance, responsibility and accountability continues to produce many encouraging results in these young women.
Stage Two of the project, which originally consisted of four, two family apartment units across the street from Casa Luz, was opened in January of 2009. This stage of the project provides the young mothers and their children with housing and support in a semi-independent living environment. This allows the moms, who have reached the minimum age of 18 and who are ready, to move out into the community and workforce while still being closely linked to the support at Casa Luz. The objective is for the moms and their children to remain living here until they are able to be emotionally and financially independent. Casa Luz is the only program of this nature in Costa Rica which continues to work with young mothers after they have turned 18. In 2010, due to lack of space for the growing daycare/pre kinder, one of the apartments was converted into a larger and more functional daycare/pre kinder. The previous daycare/pre kinder area was integrated into the existing counseling and therapy area. The permits required to construct an additional 16 small, single family apartments are currently being applied for. Immediately upon receipt of these permits, construction will begin on 8 of these desperately needed apartments.
For more information or if you would like to donate please visit www.casaluz.org