SONJA BAUTISTA is a mindful, kind and loving woman who has chosen to dedicate her life to children in need. Sonja’s dedication, combined with her determination, has enabled PANI (The National Institute for Children) to entrust her with the responsibility and care of many endangered children. Her first association, Casa de Restauracion, has been raising awareness in Costa Rica for many years. For two years, the shelter was located in 2 rented houses in La Tranquilidad de Cobano and more recently in Rio Negro. Sonja is currently sheltering 32 children who have experienced domestic violence and sexual abuse. The shelter has 7 employees who help Sonja on a daily basis, along with various volunteers from the area. Volunteers offer their time each week to ensure the children and women are able to access psychology, educational and health services, alongside general care and entertainment for the children. Currently, PANI operates out of San Jose with its main facility overloaded and at full capacity. It is due to this we have taken the opportunity to expand and offer further services to PANI and a community of women and children very much in need.
For the past two years, the shelter has been located in 2 rented houses in La Tranquilidad de Cobano.
During this time, 17 kids and 4 mothers, who experienced violent households and sexual abuse are currently hosted.
Sonja Bautista, the founder of the shelter, has the help of 5 employees. In addition, many other volunteers offer their time each week to cover psychology, education and entertainment needs.
Many other children of the area are currently in endangered situation with no space in the only one PANI Shelter in the capital San José to receive them. The modest shelter is full.
As an important aspect of our commitment, we assure PANI gives access to mental health care professionals in an effort to provide relief from stress and fears so that our residents can achieve self- reliance and freedom in order to become their very best.
Education is the foundation for life and each child is provided with a school uniform and materials to attend school on a daily basis. The shelter also provides further academic support with additional tutoring, English lessons and homework support.
The eco-village aims to help and encourage the mothers of these broken families to regain independence, and, in some cases, reunite with their children. We have created a Handcraft Atelier to teach and support the women in how to manufacture and create goods such as bathing suits and handbags made from recycled materials.