San Jose, Costa Rica
The Asociación indígena de la Moskitia multietnico internacional en Costa Rica is an association of Nicaraguan immigrants living in Costa Rica. Board members include Doña Carolina Martínez, Rev. Crispin Orosco and Rogelio Albert. The Foundation's President visited several times in 2019 and provided funds and advice on incorporating the association.
Miskitu immigration to Costa Rica began in the 1980s during the Contra War during which entire communities were displaced. During the 1990s others fled to Costa Rica to escape the political crisis, unemployment and persecution.
In March 18-24 the President of the Foundation traveled to the barrio of Pavas in San José, Costa Rica to meet with Miskitu refugees and undocumented workers. An estimated 300-400 Miskitu families from Nicaragua lived there (5,000 persons) in low-income neighborhoods of El Carpio, Las Lomas, Guadalupe, Bella Vista, Guanacaste, Guatuso and Pavas. They appealed to the Pro-Moskitia Foundation for help. The Foundation donated funds to pay to incorporate an association (Asociacion Indigena de la Miskitia Multietnico Internacional en Costa Rica) and to pay travel expense of an experienced organizer from Bilwi (Dina Maria Nicho Mihimaya) to help organize the association.
The Miskitu association in San Jose, Costa Rica, has legal status granted by the government. The government charges $70,000 colon (about $120 USD) to issue a work permit. The association in Costa Rica helps immigrants to obtain work permits by writing letters of recommendation for which the association charges about $3,000 colon (about $5 USD). The $5 USD charged for the letter is a source of friction within the community and Melesio says the community is divided because of this reason. A second organization, Asociacion de miskitus en Costa Rica, reflects that division. A third group, El Proyecto de Cultura de Johnny Hall, also exists to promote Miskitu culture in the community.
During the visit of Dina Maria Nicho Nihimaya in April and May 2019, she worked with all three groups to strengthen their organizational structures and establish relations with governmental and educational entities in San Jose.