Houses of joy project

The Casas de la Alegría Project, co-financed by the European Union in Costa Rica, was designed to provide better living conditions and decent employment in agriculture for migrant families.

Since April 2020, XNUMX, the House of Joy project officially began: Expansion and dissemination of an approach to improve living conditions and decent employment in agriculture for migrant families through cooperatives.

The project will be executed jointly by Cooperatives of the Americas with the Coopetarrazú coffee cooperative and the two members of the International Cooperative Alliance and active members of the Platform of Cooperatives of the Americas for the Development of Costa Rica, Infocoop and Conacoop. The project is co-financed by the European Union in Costa Rica.

La Casa de la Alegría is a Social Responsibility project developed by CoopeTarrazú RL and is part of the solidarity and support given to the community and to the people who work and are involved in the coffee growing activity in the region. CoopeTarrazú RL is the organization that manages and promotes this social project since 2018. The cooperative has invested financial resources from the Fairtrade award, its own financial resources, as well as contributions from government and international institutions.

There, boys and girls from 0-12 years old are received who arrive accompanying their parents who participate in the coffee harvest in the coffee farms of the cooperative as well as farms of their associated producers and other neighboring farms. Parents can take their children to the Casa de la Alegría during the work day. There the children (as) receive comprehensive care from trained personnel for dignified care and balanced nutrition.

This project works in an articulated way between Coopetarrazu and public institutions, for the protection of the early childhood of these families. For example, state institutions such as the Ministry of Health, the Costa Rican Social Security Fund, the Education and Nutrition Centers and Children's Comprehensive Care Centers (CEN-CINAI) and the Mixed Institute of Social Assistance, National Children's Board; as well as UNICEF from Costa Rica.

The objective of the project in its joint phase with Cooperatives of the Americas is to improve the integral conditions of families of migrant pickers in agriculture, with emphasis on coffee production in Los Santos in Costa Rica. The region is highly dependent on foreign labor for the harvest. Every year approximately 15.000 Panamanian and Nicaraguan migrants arrive in the Los Santos area. Coopetarrazú is the largest coffee cooperative in the region with around 5.000 associates. Within the framework of the project, the qualification and operation of three "Houses of Joy" are planned, in addition to the 4 houses of joy that the Cooperative has been operating since 2018 and 2019 respectively. These care centers for the children of the collectors under 13 years of age were created by Unicef ​​and are now under the supervision of the IMAS – Mixed Institute of Social Aid of Costa Rica.

Cooperatives of the Americas will provide administrative and technical support in terms of creating decent employment through cooperatives. The elaboration of a concept with different strategies for the creation or improvement of decent employment in agricultural cooperatives is expected, which will be provided to the membership of Cooperatives of the Americas for their dissemination and application. In addition, the financing of 6 mini-projects is planned to improve the conditions of workers and collaborators.

The associates Infocoop and Conacoop accompany the project with their expertise from the cooperative sector in Costa Rica. They also contribute to various activities in favor of the access of collector families to public services such as health.
A cross-cutting issue that has been added to the procedure given the situation caused by the health crisis caused by COVID-19, will be access to health and the creation of necessary hygiene conditions for the families of the collectors. This requires a coordinated effort by the cooperative, its associates, public entities and partner organizations in this project. Although it has not been raised from the beginning, the project will seek to address this problem in all its facets, to provide the necessary safety, protection and health to all the people involved in the project. The fact that the coffee harvest in the area will begin in November and last until February of the following year, will allow for preparation time.


Learn more about houses of joy.

Cooperativas de las Américas en el marco del Proyecto UE “Casas de la Alegría” lanza publicación sobre el rol de las cooperativas para el trabajo decente

Cooperativas de las Américas y Coopetarrazú trabajan en el marco del proyecto “Casa de la alegría: Ampliación y difusión de un enfoque de mejora de las condiciones de vida y de empleo digno en la agricultura para familias migrantes a través de las cooperativas.”


En el marco de dicho proyecto, se ejecutó una investigación, sistematización y elaboración de una publicación sobre la creación de trabajo decente por cooperativas agropecuarias en Latinoamérica; siendo los casos de estudio Coopetarrazú en Costa Rica, Cooperativa Agroindustrial Villa Rica Golden Coffee Ltda. en Perú, Cooperativa Cocamar en Brasil y Cooperativa La Terre en Argentina; así como una serie de guías cortas para brindar trabajo decente en las cooperativas de América.


Para acceder a las publicaciones puede dar clic en los links inferiores.


Guía práctica, «Las cooperativas agrícolas y el trabajo decente en Latinoamérica: acciones y medidas para la inclusión socioeconómica y laboral de personas en situacición de desventaja.


Practical guide, "Agricultural cooperatives and decent work in Latin America: actions and measures for the eradication of child labor"


Practical guide, «Agricultural cooperatives and decent work in Latin America: actions and measures for the eradication of child labor».

Practical guide, «Agriculture cooperatives and decent work in Latin America: actions and measures for the socioeconomic and labor inclusion of disadvantaged people».


Contributions of agricultural cooperatives to decent work in Latin America, 4 cases of cooperative success


Contributions of agricultural cooperatives to decent work in Latin America, 4 cooperative success stories