You can make a difference

Written by Michael Simons on . Posted in Costa Rica Charity, EX PATS in Costa Rica, Newsletters

puppy and kittenI have always been a big supporter of charities, even when I lived in the USA. I fed a child in Africa.  I made monthly donations to the ASPCA. I support Smile Train.  I always make donations when my friends run or walk for various events and never miss the chance to stick a bunch of cash in the Salvation Army bucket over the holidays.  Anything to do with the US military and you can count me in.  The list goes on and on.

Since moving here in 2003 I have been very fortunate to meet some incredibly generous individuals, who give a tremendous amount of their time, effort and money to charities all over the world.  But I have also seen all the reports on the News, about charities and scams.  We know that many charities use the majority of the funds for their personal use. Private planes, expensive dinners, operating costs and salaries to executives are just some of the examples of why only a small percentage of your donations actually reach their destination.  Not here in Costa Rica.  The nice thing about the charities here in our area, is they are run by local individuals whose only concern is the end result of the donations.  They don’t take a salary, nor use any of the funds for operating costs.  In Costa Rica YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

I have been asked over and over by people to please send a list of all the current charities that are going on in the Papagayo area.  Below are my personal favorites and as more become available I will let you know.  Please take a few minutes to read this list and hopefully you can find one that you can connect with.  Do us all a favor and MAKE A SMALL DONATION.


Gary Lindquist is a retired US and Canadian citizen who is a Permanent Resident of Costa Rica.  Gary and his lovely Costa Rican wife Cynthia are involved currently in 3 wonderful charities.

The first is the Sardinal Back Pack program.

For the past 3 years[more…] we have been giving backpacks plus school supplies, uniforms and shoes to poor children in Sardinal who cannot afford to buy these things to attend school.  We thank you all for contributing in past years.  I want to share with you that we just received a wonderful piece of news.

A Karate Club from Toronto, Canada has volunteered to bring down 60 backpacks which will include school materials needed and shoes.  That is a wonderful gift.  Now we need to collect donations to buy the uniforms for the kids.  We buy 2 shirts and 2 pants for each child.  That total cost of this year’s project will be approximately $2000.  Please donate any amount of money you can to this project. All donations are gratefully accepted.  Let’s make this the best year we have ever had!You can phone Gary or email him for pickup of your donation see below for the information. You can also leave your donation at the RE/MAX Tres Amigos Real Estate office with Yorleny Quesada.  You can also leave your donation with Pastor Allen Cudahy at Celebration community Church in Playa Hermosa.

If you are a long way away you can use Paypal as well. Go to, write in his email – go to gifts – write in amount you want to give and click send.  You will see his first name – Jon -don’t worry – it’s him – go ahead and click send – He will receive the donations and put them into the Sardinal Backpack Account.

Gary Lindquist: 011 (506) 2672-0023



Gary is also involved in 2 other projects.  Contact him directly to get involved or help out financially: 

Playground Project for Playa Hermosa School. Our committee has had 2 meetings so far. It is looking very good so far.

Sardinal School kitchen expansion – The kids have a dining area serving 40 and the population of the school is 760.  They are in great need of expansion.

The next Charity is the Playa Hermosa Resident’s Association – It is a Non-profit, Volunteer based, organization made up of Playa Hermosa Residents.  We love Playa Hermosa and want to help improve and maintain it. For a very small fee you can join the Association and help to keep our community beautiful. Please visit their website.



One of the more popular charities is actually a committee within the Playa Hermosa Resident’s Association called the

Save the Monkeys Committee – The Playa Hermosa Save the Monkeys Committee (Salve Los Monos de Playa Hermosa) is dedicated to protecting and enhancing the native monkey population in Playa Hermosa. The committee is currently seeking persons who have knowledge of the existing monkey corridors in and around Playa Hermosa. We are also interested in knowing what areas the Monkeys lived in before the loss of portions of their habitat. One of the biggest problems that all countries face, is that as Man Kind continues to expand, we over take much of the animals natural habitat. In Costa Rica, many monkeys are electrocuted when they have to use high voltage wires to cross the roads. The committee was formed to raise money to build Monkey Bridges across the roads in high traffic areas. My good friend Karol Allard and her husband Michael have been huge advocates of this wonderful project. Please take the time to visit their site and please help with a donation or your time.


For Information contact Karol Allard at



There is also a resident’s association for Playas del Coco called Catucoco

Anyone who has ever spent one moment talking to me, looking on my personal Facebook page or even stopping by my house or office knows that Michael Simons LOVES DOGS.  I love Cats too it’s just that my Rottweiler isn’t a big fan of them.  There is a wonderful Charity in the area run by Paul and Alice Johnston.  They spend all of their free time and their own personal money saving stray animals from the streets, and finding them homes.  That is how I ended up with 6 dogs, all starting with the letter M.  Millie, Meka, Milagro, Monita, Melina and Macho.  Unfortunately Maggie and Madison passed away last year.

Their project is called COCO CARE. It was started by performing free spay/neuter clinics and has become the hub for helping our furry friends in need.  I assure you that if you decide to move to Costa Rica, we will inevitably end up at your door dropping off a new friend.



Everywhere you go in the world, you will find a Lions Club and we have one here in Playas del Coco as well.  Lions are an international network of 1.3 million men and woman in 200 countries and geographic areas who work together to answer the needs that challenge communities around the world.  Known for working to end preventable blindness, Lions participate in a vast variety of projects important to their communities.  The projects range from cleaning up local parks to providing supplies to victims of natural disasters.  Beginning in 1917, the association of Lions clubs has provided millions of people with the opportunity to give something back to their communities.

For more information or to make a donation please contact:
Phone:8941-3570 or 2670-2054

PROYECTO DE LUZ is a non-for profit association dedicated to contribute a service to make a positive change to the lives of children living in Costa Rica. We believe by improving a Childs environment, health and educational conditions it provides them with an important foundation for a brighter future and enables them to reach their full potential, which has an impact on the entire community.

Condo Fish – Organization dedicated to creating artificial fish and sea life habitats affectionately called ‘CondoFish’ This is the first project of its kind to be approved by the Costa Rican government.



Rich Coast Diving is one of the top dive shops here in the Papagayo and they are committed 100% to giving back to their community.  

PROJECT AWARE which is a world wide organization that fights against Shark Finning and ocean debris.


Rich Coast Diving was one of the first Dive Shops worldwide to join in this effort. All of their students receive a PROJECT AWARE certification card after they have completed the course.  The extra $10 that Rich Coast pays for this card goes directly to PROJECT AWARE.  You can purchase T-shirts with shark logos and the profit goes 100% towards shark protection.


Every year Rich Coast Diving joins with world famous artist Carlos Hiller to set up a combination art and community awareness project to send a message to the public to stop shark finning, which is usually done during world ocean day

See our Sea – An initiative to involve local people and tourists in ocean ecosystems conservation. 


Rich Coast Diving also received the green star award.  This is an award given for a dive center that goes “green”

Please take some time to visit these websites, call the people on the ground and see if you can help in your own way. 

A small donation really can MAKE A DIFFERENCE. Thanks

See you down here in Paradise!
Pura Vida,

Michael Simons

If you have had a great experience with my office and Costa Rica, I want to hear about it. Please send us a video of yourself telling us WHY and I will post it to my website for everyone to see. Or send me an email and I will put it in my Testimonials. I appreciate your business and that you have decided to read this Newsletter more than I could ever tell you. THANK YOU.  Please take a little more time and check out the entire site. We have added a lot of information lately that I am sure you will find helpful. Also, please forward this to any friends you think might be interested in learning more about Costa Rica. Is there a story behind Tank Tops and Flip Flops you ask? Of course, but you have to stay tuned for another Newsletter. I hope all is well. Stay healthy. God Bless you and your families. Stop procrastinating and hurry back!

Check Out My Full Website at


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