Costa Rica: IOM Welcomes U.S. Government Representatives to La Carpio Community

Costa Rica
10 June, 2021


On June 10, a high-level delegation, representing the State Department and the United States Embassy in Costa Rica, made a visit to the community of La Carpio, in the city of San José. The aim was to present the initiatives conducted by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Costa Rica in conjunction with the SIFAIS Foundation and the Municipality of San José. 


During the visit, representatives of the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration, the Office of Western Hemisphere Affairs, the United States Office of Business in Costa Rica and the United States Embassy in Costa Rica, were shown the progress made in this community in the integration of the migrant population into their host communities and social cohesion, thanks to the support of the United States through IOM’s Western Hemisphere Program. 


The US delegation was received by Michele Klein Solomon, IOM Regional Director for Central America, North America and the Caribbean, Francisco Furlani, IOM Officer in Charge for Costa Rica, Paula Vargas Ramírez, Deputy Mayor of the Municipality of San José and Maris Stella Fernández, president of the Foundation of the Integral System of Artistic Training for Social Inclusion (SIFAIS). 


The community of La Carpio is an informal settlement in the city of San José, which is considered the community with the largest binational population in Central America. With 19 035 inhabitants according to the last census of 2011 (INEC), an average of 50% are Costa Ricans, 49% are Nicaraguan migrants and 1% represent other nationalities. 


In addition, it is considered a community with several conditions of vulnerability that are reflected in high poverty rates, limited employment opportunities and the low rate of inhabitants with higher education. In this context, IOM is supporting the Municipality of San José and the local partner SIFAIS Foundation to improve the social cohesion and socio-economic integration of migrants. 


During the delegation’s visit the projects that IOM has been supporting in this area were presented, including: 



  • The "Pan de Luz" bakery that was founded with IOM’s support in 2020. This is a bakery training center addressed to young people of La Carpio for the strengthening of employability. Currently, 10 young people are in training for two months and the idea is to graduate 150 people per year. In addition, an alliance was created with the National Institute of Learning (INA) to certify people of La Carpio in the Food Handling course. 


  • The Virtual Community Training Center (ACTIM Zones) has benefited about 40 people per week with an offer of more than 10 courses and talks. This includes violin, piano, dance, career profiling, entrepreneurship, food industry, communication, and information technologies, among others. Between April and May 2021, 320 people have benefited from the courses and 160 people from the talks, a valuable fact if we consider that in La Carpio only 11.1% of the population has higher education studies. 


  • The Communication for Development (C4D) campaign "De Boca en Boca la Gente se Equivoca”. This is a process linked to the promotion of the regularization of migration in La Carpio, which is being coordinated with the General Directorate for Migration and Aliens (DGME), with the aim of promoting the regularization of migration through links with Costa Ricans. To date, the campaign has reached approximately 1,102,435 people by various means. 


All these initiatives are supported by IOM under the Western Hemisphere Program funded by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration