SINCE 2003

Serving Talamanca's Underpriveledged

 
 

WHO WE ARE

El Puente - The Bridge is a not-for-profit organization based in Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica.

We offer education, food, clothing, emergency funds, and community and spiritual support to the underprivileged mostly indigenous people of Talamanca.

It's founders, Barry and Nanci Stevens created The Bridge in answer to the needs of the people in this area.

Barry & Nanci.JPG

OUR VISION

The Bridge sees A World That Works For EVERYONE!

A world where no one has to go to bed hungry or sleep out in the rain; where children don't have to be afraid of their parents or the police or the clergy; and where abuse is a thing of the past.

We see a world that asks first "what would love do here?"

We see children and their parents having equal opportunities for self sufficiency presented to them so that they are no longer dependent on baser occupations and substandard aspirations. 

We see a world where everyone has at least the basic tools required to be able to work their way to self sufficiency.

 

BARRY & NANCI'S STORY

January 2003. They had come to retire. Feeding 1000 indigenous families every year was never in the plan.

While the pair of spry new retirees brought with them an ecumenical spiritual practice and always looked for ways to serve,  they had not come to found a Soup Kitchen.

Its lucky that their plans were so flexible, and their personal requirements so small; 

A house they fit into, and parrots in the sky. 

It left the room in their lives for what was to become their next 15 years together.

They called it El Puente – The Bridge, because as Nanci explains: 

" We do our best to be a bridge between ancient indigenous culture and the greater community of Talamanca."

In the weeks and months after Barry realized the hunger of the people living in the hills behind him, he and Nanci began to offer healthy meals to the families who would appear at the edge of the jungle in search of work and food.

It began that way; one family after another, walking through the gates, over the bridge into the lives of the Stevens.  And from the food came conversation, and the realization of the needs of the Bribri people. 

Children needed uniforms and school books in order to go to school.   And from that to the next realization; micro-loans to help parents provide for their families.

In feeding people and serving people, Nanci and Barry Stevens have also become a bridge to the many tourists and volunteers who come to work in their small home every year. 

 

 

Barry Stevens
Executive Director,  El Puente - The Bridge

 Wide open front gates at El Puente

Wide open front gates at El Puente

 The garden at El Puente

The garden at El Puente

 Nanci and the Children in the garden at El Puente

Nanci and the Children in the garden at El Puente

Take a virtual drone tour of El Puente - The Bridge here: