IOM Launches Urban Gardens for Social Inclusion in Communities in San José, Costa Rica

Costa Rica
20 May, 2021


With the goal of promoting social inclusion among the migrant and Costa Rican population, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) launched a project for urban gardens in two localities of the Costa Rican capital: La 25 de Julio in Hatillo and Relleno in Pavas. The activity was conducted jointly with the Municipality of San José.


The migrant population of both communities was part of a virtual process on urban garden design and management, provided by "Vamos a Sembrar" [Let’s Plant], an organization that specializes in these cultivation techniques that can later be used as part of projects in communal spaces. 


"IOM’s approach in our community to drive this garden project has been key and vital, as our association, community, and neighbors needed guidance to be able to develop and carry out this project. Thanks to the contribution in training and support, we have achieved what has been built here in the community”, said Alexis Nieto, community leader of La 25 de Julio. 


Around 20 people of different nationalities have participated in the project in both communities. They identified this urban agriculture initiative as not only a tool for social cohesion and inclusion of the migrant population and persons with disabilities, but also a way to improve the quality of life of all members of the community. 


"IOM has joined forces with the La 25 de Julio community in Hatillo and its Development Association to rehabilitate public spaces to benefit surrounding communities. This is the case with the garden, which has yielded formidable results for the entire community, including the development and capacity building to generate self-sufficient crops”, said Isis Orozco, Officer-in-Charge for IOM Costa Rica. 


The practice of urban agriculture has made it possible to recover public spaces that were abandoned and had delinquency problems. Currently, these sustainable spaces allow the migrant population of the communities to participate in discussions on urban mobility, waste management and water management, and to benefit from the production of crops. 


The project is being implemented under the Western Hemisphere Program, funded by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration.