I set up this page to share links and information about ways people can support Costa Rican entities (small businesses, organizations and communities) they care about during the COVID-19 crisis. The health consequences of the crisis are of course primordial, but the economic consequences will be brutal for the country’s most vulnerable communities and could shutter many family business and nonprofits. I will update this regularly. Last updated Thursday, May 7.

  • TONS OF WAYS TO BUY COSTA RICAN: Here are a number of ways to support Costa Rican small businesses during this crisis. What products, gift certificates or other strategies are you using? Please keep your suggestions coming to me (via social media comments or at
  • PUBLIC FUNDS FOR HARD-HIT FAMILIES: If you know anyone who has lost jobs or wages because of the crisis, and hasn’t applied for the government support, loan relief, small-business support that are available, send them to this summary: Saldremos Adelante is run by the National Emergency Commission support from the private sector.
  • NATIONWIDE NONPROFIT RESPONSE: Nonprofits around the country are working hard to support those most vulnerable during this crisis, and you can find plenty of ways to join in at Amigos of Costa Rica, the U.S. 501(c)3 organization set up and supported by the CRUSA Foundation in Costa Rica (so that your tax-deductible donations go straight to CR nonprofits with no overhead). Go to the Amigos COVID-19 page to find out about regional emergency funds and other urgent campaigns, and for contact info if you know someone who should connect with Amigos.
  • DONATE YOUR TIME: The Costa Rica Corps is a new initiative to mobilize people who want to provide online support and services to nonprofits, communities and businesses that are struggling to get through the crisis. Learn more or sign up here.
  • DRAKE BAY EMERGENCY FUND: One of the newest emergency campaigns on the Amigos page is a fund to feed families on the Osa Peninsula whose income has dropped to zero because of the suspension of tourism. Funds will be used by the Drake Bay Guides’ Association to buy basic food supplies for some of the more than 400 families who need support in this rural community. Thank you to Travel with Ann who has played a crucial role in setting up this fund. Learn more and contribute here.
  • FOOD FOR THE HOMELESS: With church services suspended, some of the usual food donations for the homeless have been endangered. De la Mano con la Calle has done extraordinary work to raise money in CR and abroad to fill the gap. Learn more here.
  • MAKE AN ART BOX FOR A KID IN NEED: Read this post for more about Costa Rican and Nicaraguan kids in low-income communities who really need art supplies (and comforting notes!) from donors to help them and their parents figure out how to get through their confinement.
  • PAY IT FORWARD: Read this post for more about how to help vulnerable Costa Rican communities by postponing, rather than cancelling, your upcoming trip, or buying a gift card from a small business.
  • NONPROFIT RESOURCES: There are a whole bunch of amazing nonprofit resources related to the COVID-19 crisis here.
  • SAVE A BABY TURTLE AND ENTERTAIN YOUR KIDS: The nonprofit Latin American Sea Turtles (LAST) is in danger of cancelling all its spring programming because its volunteer groups – which help support the organization financially while also doing the grunt work of protecting baby turtles from poachers and harsh weather – all had to cancel their Costa Rica visits. Therefore, LAST is doing an urgent fundraising drive that can also entertain your kids and transport your family, at least for a few moments, to a Costa Rican beach! Find all the directions in this post.
  • COFFEE: Los Santos community organization Green Communities is asking folks to order coffee from their farmers – for themselves, or to sell to friends – as they confront a huge funding shortfall from cancelled tours. Update Tues. 17: they’ve now sold 800 bags, but need to sell 2,000 if the organizaiton is to survive the coming months, says co-founder Jonathan Cerdas. Learn more here or write You can also donate to Green Communities’ Emergency Fund.
  • YOGA: Costa Rican microbusiness Downtown Yoga is now an online service where you can take individual or group yoga classes with a live teacher via webcam! Check it out here. It’s been hard hit by this since its sister company, Barrio Bird Walking Tours, has of course had huge cancellations. Owner Stacey Auch is now offering a special discount for COVID-19. You can try the service for free for three days and then pay $59 for the first month, down from $89. She invites you to join her to “talk directly to your teacher… and manage stress and anxiety as we figure out W the F is going on these next months!” Amen. Enroll here or see other pricing options here. 
  • FIND A SMALL BUSINESS: Did you know you can search Costa Rican small businesses (PYMES) online? Check out the ComprePyme directory if you’re in the market for something and want to support the entities that are struggling the most in the current crisis… or browse it on Facebook.
  • IN SUMMARY: Here’s are some general ways to help out during this terrifying moment for a tourism-dependent economy.
  • ONIONS: In Costa Rica and need a whole bunch of onions? I’m serious – the cancellation of the Onion Fair has put a whole lotta onion farmers in a bad way. They are willing to do home delivery of Costa Rican garlic or fabulous yellow, red or white onions: you can call 7014-8715 or 8994-1337, or contact Wata Campos on Facebook.
  • AMAZON: Speaking of Amigos, if you find yourself stuck inside buying supplies on Amazon, go to Amazon Smile and choose the U.S. nonprofit and 501(c)3 organization Amigos of Costa Rica as your beneficiary. Amazon will donate a small percentage of the purchase to Amigos.
  • ALL THE THINGS: From jewelry to wellness products, you can buy from Costa Rican microenterprises through Local Keeps and have the products delivered worldwide. (Or, I know some people are saying, don’t make delivery people go to work either – but lining up your purchases and having it ready to go when things normalize a bit would help these business, too!) Here’s my recent piece about them.