Women Breaking Limits, Costa Rica

"Local materials combined with ecologically sensible wanderlust characteristics and local design" - under this slogan women from rural areas of Costa Rica were able to secure their own lifelihood in the first phase of the project. The follow-up project has the objective to make the recycling products - e.g. colourful bags, cell phone bags, mousepads and keychains made of telephone books and travel catalogues - more popular. For this purpose, more women shall be integrated into the project and sensitivation programs for tourists shall be implemented.

The small city Pénjamo lies in the district San Carlos. The area includes national parcs and one of the world's most active volcanos, the Arenal Volcano. The most important economic activities are the production of oranges, maniok, ananas, sugar cane, rice, beef and milk products. In the last year tourismus has become an important source of income for the local population. Besides the volcano, the Arenal-Lake, the Venado caves and several waterfalls the San Carlos' region has a lot of hot springs which attract many tourists.

But San Carlos has also its social problem under which expecially the women are suffering. Alcoholism and the traditionally anchored chauvinism characterize the society as well es the desperate handling of the uncontrollable migration from Nicaragua. „Women Breaking Limits II“ supports women from rural areas by enabling them to find a job and to secure their own lifelihood.

The local company HiPn'Verde wants to give these talented women the opportunity to improve their socioeconomic standing. The women are granted full responsibility for the production of creative and enviroment-friendly recycling products. The women work from home and design e.g. bags from recycled materials or accessoires with paper pearls. At the same time, consumers and producers get a growing sustainability awareness.

Project goals:

Objective 1:

  • Optimization and expansion of production processes to more cities in the region San Carlos in order to find more markets for the products


  • Active inclusion of tourists into the project, e.g. by organising visits to the local communities and giving them the opportunity to help with the production of paper pearls together with the involved women

Objective 3:

  • Development and establishment of the touristic potential of Pénjamo towards a sustainable rural community

Objective 4:

  • Sensitivation of the local population concerning the implementation of sustainable practices by means of workshops

Project profile

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Project location
Pénjamo, Florencia de San Carlos, Costa Rica
Project sponsor
Project start
Project duration
2 years
Project coordinator
Fanny Calvo Aguilar und Natascha Moscoa Jiménez
Project partner
Costa Rica Sostenible, HiPn'Verde
Futouris contact

Swantje Lehners

Managing Director Projects & Cooperations
+ 49 (0) 40 - 809034 - 4055