Costa Rica

Our Success in

Costa Rica


Started Working in
Costa Rica



130 K

Direct Beneficiaries & Program Participants
54% Female
(Women & Girls)


Indirect Beneficiaries & Program Participants

Since 2010, RET has directly supported more than 130K direct participants in Costa Rica; 60 % of them are vulnerable women, and indirectly benefited more than 1.3 million beneficiaries. RET, also supported the opening of more than 17 facilities throughout 34 projects focused on Protection ( GBV Prevention & Mitigation, Response to Forced & Early Marriage, Sexual & Reproductive Health Programs, Child Protection, Legal Support, and Human Rights); Economic Growth & Development (Self-Reliance & livelihoods, Business Development & Entrepreneurship); Education ( Post-primary Education including Tertiary, Basic Education, Life & Soft Skills, Distance Learning…); Peace, Stability & Transition ( including Community Resilience); Prevention & Management of Disasters and Natural Hazards; and Basic Infrastructure & Equipment. 

Since 2010, RET has provided interventions in vulnerable areas, particularly in: the Caribbean shores, Nicaraguan frontiers (Upala and Los Chiles), Sixaola, Paraíso, Puerto Viejo, and Cahuita, Costa Rica; 3 schools of San Jose and Heredia; Pedagogical orientation center for youth empowerment and development in Heredia; Integral Social Development Programme in Guararí; targeting adolescents students from four secondary schools in Cahuita, Puerto Viejo, Paraiso and Sixaola trained on issues related to violence, emphasizing sexual and gender violence; strengthening local government capacities to prevent and provide services to survivors of Gender-based violence in the fourteen Cantons of Curridabat, Montes de Oca, Moravia, La Union de Tres Rios, Desamparados, Alajuelita, Escazú, Mora, Belén de Heredia, Alajuela, San Jose, Tibas, Goicoechea and Santa Ana.
RET also supported Nicaraguan refugees in Costa Rica, in the Greater Metropolitan Area (GAM), with a focus on the vulnerable communities of Guararí, Desamparados and Cartago and in the districts of Aguas Zarcas, Alajuela and the cantons of Garabito, Puntarenas and Santa Cruz and finally Guanacaste. Building Local Governments Capacity to prevent and provide services to Gender-Based Violence (GBV) Survivors Project, in coordination with the International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Office (INL) CARSI in 14 Cantons of Curridabat, Montes de Oca, Moravia, La Union de Tres Rios, Desamparados, Alajuelita, Escazú, Mora, Belén de Heredia, Alajuela, San Jose, Tibas, Goicoechea and Santa Ana.

RET’s Interventions

RET started activities in Costa Rica in October 2010, with a vision of consolidating protective environments for refugee populations’ social inclusion. Costa Rica has a large proportion of refugees, predominantly from Colombia, and Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Cuba, and lately, Venezuela. It is estimated that the immigration from Latin American countries with internal conflict situations reached approximately 55,000 people arriving in Costa Rica. This displacement into Costa Rica creates many challenges within the country, and the Costa Rican community is showing signs of xenophobia and violence. Asylum seekers, migrants, and the local population face significant risks and have become vulnerable to violence. 

RET in Costa Rica implements projects responding to violence linked to drug trafficking mainly at the Grand Metropolitan Area and other regions such as the Caribbean shores, Nicaraguan frontiers (Upala and Los Chiles), in addition to interventions aimed to prevent bullying and sexual violence and to promote the development of vulnerable young people by facilitating their participation and integration in the formal education system. Additionally, RET provided holistic programs answering the specific social and economic integration needs of refugees and asylum seekers, and provided development opportunities for adolescents and young people in particular 

The number of refugee applications in Costa Rica grew by 225%, highlighting the significant influx of families and young people fleeing the Colombian armed conflict, Venezuela’s socio-economic situation, and the violence and extortion of armed groups and gangs in El Salvador. Faced with the strain of this increase in arrivals, Costa Rica faces difficulties in protecting these families’ rights and creating durable solutions for their integration. 

More recently, RET implemented projects to increase the self-reliance and integration of the most vulnerable populations in need of international protection. It was designed to close the service gaps identified in providing assistance and the promotion of integration of this population. It was made possible through close collaboration with local partner institutions and working with young people and leaders from the people in need of international protection and the host community.
Moreover, projects were designed to provide vulnerable migrants and asylum seekers from Venezuela with access to humanitarian assistance, education, and legal counseling in coordination with public institutions. Also, the projects offered individual and psychosocial support for vulnerable families; improved the response and protection services to gender-based violence survivors and at-risk women and girls, through humanitarian and legal assistance in coordination with national and local authorities, and finally, supported the government institutions by strengthening their capacities for the provision of services to Venezuelan asylum seekers and vulnerable migrants.

Additionally, RET responded to the migration crisis of the Nicaraguan refugee population and asylum seekers. The project addressed the needs of the Nicaraguan population in Costa Rica by providing basic humanitarian assistance such as health, education, shelter, and food, laterally promoting socio-cultural integration through awareness campaigns to prevent violent xenophobia. The project facilitated access to refugee rights through legal counseling and coordination with state and local institutions. Finally, it promoted the educational inclusion of Nicaraguan refugees and asylum seekers for integration into the host community’s educational community. RET implemented this project in the Greater Metropolitan Area (GAM), focusing on the vulnerable communities of Guararí, Desamparados, and Cartago and in the districts of Aguas Zarcas, Alajuela and the cantons of Garabito, Puntarenas and Santa Cruz and finally Guanacaste.

RET was also involved in projects to build local government capacity to prevent and provide services to gender-based violence (GBV) survivors in Costa Rica in the fourteen Cantons of Curridabat, Montes de Oca, Moravia, La Union de Tres Rios, Desamparados, Alajuelita, Escazú, Mora, Belén de Heredia, Alajuela, San Jose, Tibas, Goicoechea and Santa Ana. The project is aligned with the “Digital Local Government Platform” to prevent and assist survivors of GBV, coordinated through a network at the GAM level, and using innovation methodologies for the socio-economic inclusion of female survivors of GBV. The project supported local government officials’ training (TOT) to assist women with entrepreneurship initiatives, identify business opportunities, business planning, and critical thinking. Coordination mechanisms were put in place between public officials and civil society members to prevent GBV and provide assistance to GBV survivors. 

RET used a comprehensive approach in its interventions in Costa Rica, addressing different areas related to the multiple needs of PNIPs and their integration in the communities. RET provided the most affected with humanitarian aid, such as healthcare rights, education, legal counseling, facilitated access to the educational system; psychological care, and improving young people’s skills to enter the labor market and/or run income-generating activities. Furthermore, in collaboration with UNHCR and the ACAI, operational measures were established to participate in the “Live the Integration” program to improve the target population’s access to the labor market.


RET participated in the Multi-Functional Team for the Prevention of Gender-Based Violence, led by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), which brought together representatives from different entities such as the Ombudsman’s Office, the National Children’s Board, the Association of International Consultants and Advisors (ACAI), Senderos, and Casa Abierta, among others. The Multi-Functional Team focuses on assisting cases of GBV experienced by refugees and asylum applicants who have not had a positive resolution from the Costa Rican authorities. 

RET in Costa Rica has been a member of the National Network of Civil Society Organizations for Migrations and the Permanent Migration and Refugee Population Forum to develop coordinated responses, and is a member of the Assistance and Protection Networks for Victims of Domestic Violence and Gender-Based Violence, in Alajuela, Heredia, Belén and Hatillo as well as in the Cantonal Employment Network and the Local Sub- Assembly for Child and Adolescent Protection of Alajuela. 

RET Partners in Costa Rica:
IOM, alianzavencr, local governments, general of migration and foreignership, refuge subprocess, mixed institute of social assistance, UNHCR, Civic Centers for Peace, Local Governments, Directorate-General for Migration and Foreign Affairs; Ministry of Public Education (MEP), National Institute of Women (INAMU), Curridabat Local Government, National Council of People with Disabilities, Institute of Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Security, Chamber of Commerce, Incubator AUGE, University of Costa Rica, National Union of Local Governments, National Association mayoral and city halls. 

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