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Summer 2011



Go Local! Local children. Local families. Local churches.

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Five Reasons Why It’s Important to Go Local:

It tastes better. We know and understand this in the tropics— it’s pretty difficult to eat bananas in Chicago when you’ve experienced them in Costa Rica. Locally grown solutions are closer to the heart of the community, the touch and feel of the neighborhood. Children learn to live as part of their community, not separate. It costs less. The international community knows that you can find most anything in Costa Rican markets these days, you will just have to pay the price for the imported goods. Local solutions for children are significantly less expensive—no buildings to build, no major investments to protect. The value is in the people, not the facilities.

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It shifts the responsibility. The local government has the legal responsibility, the local church holds the Biblical responsibility for children in need. Local solutions allow outside help to work behind the scenes—encouraging and motivating, but keeps outside influences from assuming all responsibility. It opens up spaces for God to act. We believe in the spiritual discipline of hospitality, we recognize that God flows into situations where we welcome the stranger in the name of Christ. We have countless stories where opening a front door has led to the transformation of not just children, but of the Casa Viva families, churches and others. It connects children to living communities of people. Healthy families are connected to communities—their work, their church, their neighborhood. When a child needing care enters the family community, they gain access to the scope of their alliances. They become known, their names and stories become specific, and their futures shine brighter.

All the Elements for Life

A Pic

Farming takes vision and faith. From day one, all the work is done with the harvest in mind. Our pioneering vision? To see a pivotal shift take place in the care of children who do not have a safe place to sleep. Our dream is to see those children connected with local families who are connected to local churches. Casa Viva set this work in motion over seven years ago to begin clearing a small plot of land.

A Local Church

Test the Soil

You have to know what will grow. Our local staff started an organic process of understanding what the unique elements would be to care for children in families in Costa Rica. Our pilot started to take root, and as it did—we watched and tweaked and listened and discussed and learned together.

God calls his people to be a body of believers that make a difference in the world, people who are salt and light.

A Local Family

Clear the Land

Ever worked to remove a big tree stump from a field? It’s a process. Deeply entrenched root systems spread out along lines you didn’t imagine existed. Policies and protocols. Philosophies and research. Work on the frontier isn’t easy—every issue becomes a question, every difficulty a discussion that needs resolution. Our biggest obstacle? Inserting a new solution into old ways of thinking.

They are the solution. Their key is an unwavering commitment to plant a seed of hope in the heart of a child. The child’s greatest need is connection, and our families have plenty to give.

A Local Staff

Plant for the Harvest

The story of Casa Viva is long and involved, it twists and it turns, but the answer is YES. Yes to engaging churches on behalf of children. Yes to inviting families to open their front doors. Yes to working with the local government. Yes to connecting children to families in the name of Christ. Yes. Yes. Yes.

Jesus didn’t go to the lofty places. He went to the streets, to the fishermen and tax collectors. Jesus was the quintessential “local.”

Casa Viva is the

In the and w who br ac

Remarkably, Casa Viva is the only foster care program in all of Central America. By Jill Aspegren

cture of the Casa Viva Solution God’s Design

That we should care for widows and orphans is God’s idea. He sees those on the margins, children in danger, and asks his people to see them too. “God places the lonely in

families.”- Psalm 68 vs. 6

The Child’s Biological Family

If God can transform this family, and the child can be restored back to her own family, everybody wins.

Local Government

Casa Viva both respects our partners in child welfare, and encourages them to act in the best interests of children.

The Seed Providers

Pioneering efforts require an investment. Together with you, we are providing enough momentum to allow a local solution to flourish.

God Brings the Growth

end, the essential elements remain in God’s hands – the sun and rain wind. We work diligently, professionally and with love, but it is God rings about transformation. It’s always a sense of joining with God to ccomplish His purposes, and being amazed by the life He creates. These names are just a few of the children, families, church coordinators, government partners, biological families and staff of Casa Viva Costa Rica.

Marcos Yery Nuria Eduardo Carlos Lupita Alexander Fernando Miguel Karina Henry Liliana Sara Hazel Alejandro Ruth José Manuel Carmen Tatiana Oscar Norma Virginia Luis Grettel Valeria Milton Ricardo Marvin Cristian Yolanda Tannia Steven Danilo Pedro Monica Marielos Susana Patricia Marianela Adrián Marta Diandra Mayra

“She’s delightful!” A Profile of One of Our Favorite Locals

Her smile says it all. She’s traveled the Casa Viva journey from almost the beginning. She leads our holistic care team as they do it all—supervising the care of children, walking alongside the Casa Viva families, encouraging the biological families, engaging the church response, and interacting with the local government offices. She’s standing on the edge of a whole new world of care for children in her region. She can see it off in the distance and daily makes the choice to plant the seeds, care for the young growth, and hope for the harvest. Her name is Sonia Barrientos, and we’re thrilled to have her on our team.

Follow the Local News

Walk with Us Daily on the Casa Viva Blogs

Casa Viva Costa Rica

Casa Viva Greenhouse

Follow the stories of children, families, churches and the Casa Viva staff as we put into practice the paradigm shifting ideas of Casa Viva.

Working with children at risk is first a spiritual work. Examine your own heart and be refreshed for the journey.

Seed the Local Solution In 2011, Casa Viva Costa Rica will achieve a major milestone – the majority of our funding will come from local Costa Rican sources instead of international sources. That’s thrilling. However, the dollar amount represented in the 43% for 2011 is still larger than the need from the year before, because the whole pie keeps growing as we care for more children. Would you consider a special gift to partner with Casa Viva as we create an entirely new, local solution for children separated from their own families? We thank you for partnering with us for the children.

Casa Viva Costa Rica 2010 Actual


Local Government


International Sources


Local Churches


Local Donations


Casa Viva Costa Rica 2011 Budget

Local Government


International Sources


Local Churches


Local Donations

P.O. Box 120 Wheaton, IL 60187 (630) 427-4040 TM

Follow the Casa Viva Blogs. Visit the New Casa Viva Web Site.


Prueba Casa Viva INDD

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