Citizens of Washington joined forces to help the first lady of Costa Rica, Lorena Clare de Rodriguez, ensure that Christmas is all it should be for thousands of children of Costa Rica.
Some of the toys that will bring joy to underprivileged kids in Costa Rica this Christmas will have flown all de way from Washington, D.C.
On Dec. 5, the World Children's Choir, a non-profit organization based in McLean, Va., presented a free concert at the Andrès Bello Auditorium of the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington to celebrate the end of the donation period.
This is part of a yearly effort by the Costa Rican Embassy and the Asociación de Costa Rica in Washington to collect toys and other items to be distributed by Costa Rica's first lady, Lorena Clare Rodriguez. It's the first time the “Christmas Smiles” campaign organized such an event in honor of the international community's generosity and celebrated Christmas spirit with the children ahead of time .
“We are very grateful to the Children's World Choir,” said Jaime Daremblum, ambassador of Costa Rica, in Washington after the event. “As many toys that we can have, that's the number of kids who will benefit from this.”
The World Children Choir of Washington, under the direction of Sondra Harnes, has previously donated proceeds from their concerts to UNICEF, as well as to several projects in Central America and South Africa. The choir is currently working with the Costa Rican Embassy to promote an exchange program with Costa Rica's Children Choir for next year.
“We certainly hope to pursue the kind offer of the director of the center to have further performances,” Daremblum said, “and perhaps go to Costa Rica and bring the choir to Costa Rica also.”
“We believe very much in this type of exchange,” he said. “The children are the future of our country, every country. Whatever support we can provide to those types of program we will do so gladly.”
In previous years, Christmas Smiles sent up to 25 boxes full of gifts to Costa Rica. For this Christmas, Sabino Morera, minister counselor of the embassy of Costa Rica in Washington, is optimistic that by the end of next week they will reach the same amount.
“The toys will get to the children prior to Christmas,” he said. “We have the cooperation of all the airlines who fly to Costa Rica,” said Daremblum.
Last year, according to Morera, United Airlines collaborated with the program. This year the embassy is hoping to act jointly with the U.S. postal service.
Among the toys donated Tuesday were Barbie dolls, stuffed animals, Toy Story characters, Moppets and puzzles which will soon bring joy and smiles to children in Costa Rica.