Costa Rica - Organizations

The government stimulates the formation of cooperatives, but the movement is limited. Consumer cooperatives purchase, sell, and distribute goods among the membership. The cooperative credit societies procure loans for agriculture, stock raising, and industrial development, and cooperative housing associations provide low-cost housing facilities.

There are chambers of commerce and of industry in San José. In addition, there are about 50 employers' and industrial organizations, including the National Coffee Chamber. Church-sponsored groups have a sizable membership. An unusual organization, combining features found in credit unions, company unions, and building and loan societies, is the Movimiento Solidarista, which advocates harmony between employers and workers.

National women's organizations include the Association of University Women, The Center of Feminist Information and Action, and the National Institute of Women. There are two major student unions, the Federation of University Students of Costa Rica (FEUCR) and The Nation Federation of University Students (FEUNA). Several scouting organizations are active for youth.

Costa Rica has chapters of Amnesty International and the Red Cross. A national organization, the Arias Foundation for Peace and Human Progress, is based in San Jose. The Arias Foundation works to build peace and justice in Central America and operates the Center for Peace and Reconciliation, the Center for Human Progress, and the Center for Organized Participation.

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