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Posted By: Alyson Landry on September 28, 2011

Labels: Costa Rica , Volunteers

Earlier this summer, 21 Project HOPE volunteers provided medical care and health education in Costa Rica as part of Continuing Promise 2011. Volunteers helped treat more than 5,200 people in Costa Rica.

In her pristine white uniform and headdress, a nun smoothly walked up to volunteer Dr. Janet Kinney with 10 bobbing chicos in tow. 

Kinney says she felt “blessed” to take care of nine of the children from the Hogar Mansenar, an orphanage run by nuns. The tenth child was seen by optometry, but Kinney prescribed him worm medicine to go.

Hogar Mansenar is an orphanage for abused children run by Daysy Vargas, the head nun. They currently have 47 children living there. 

About 36,000 children in Costa Rica are orphaned due to all causes, according to 2009 UNAIDS estimates published in “The State of the World’s Children 2011” UNICEF report. 

Kinney, Faye Pyles and other Project HOPE volunteers helped treat some of the children at the orphanage. Scabies, skin rashes, general colds, ear infections and headaches were the children’s main health issues.         

According to the nun working with Kinney, when the children run up to her, “They normally just want to be hugged.”

Caring for the orphans consumed most of Kinney’s day for pediatrics, but it was a gift for both groups involved.

“Manos que dan nunca estaran vacias,” said the nun at the end of the day. 

Translated loosely: Givers hands never will be empty hands.

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