Jacó Impact at Home in La Casona Lodge
New Digs to Grow in New Directions
Most people know Yorgina Ureña in the Jacó community as the driving force behind Jacó Impact, the organization she started in 2018. It has been growing ever since. With graphic designer Jetty Bonilla on board, “Yor” has been forming alliances with various people and businesses. The common goal is to grow the community in different areas while meeting the needs of its members, as well as those in surrounding areas.
Recently, Ureña found a home at La Casona Lodge, a simple yet well structured and spacious hostel close to the center of Jacó and the beach. Always on the go with new ideas and helping others expand their business, Yor now has seven pillars under the umbrella of Jacó Impact: Ambiente (Environment), Educacion (Education), Arte y Cultura (Art and Culture), Deporte (Sport), Bienestar (Well-being), Emprendimiento (Entrepreneurship) and the newest addition, Bienestar Animal (Animal Welfare).
We visited Yor on a day she was settling into her new digs for Jacó Impact at La Casona Lodge. With two volunteers on site and plans to paint the new place, she took the time to show us around. Here are some excerpts from our conversation.
How did you find the new headquarters for Jacó Impact?
This space is a donation from La Casona Lodge, which has opened doors for me to be able to create the first Center of Operations for Jacó Impact. We have been open already for a week and are happy to see how the community is showing its support with all types of donations.
‘We are happy to see how the community is showing its support with all types of donations.’
How do you plan to use the new space?
We are going to use it as an office as well as a place where people can go to donate things they don’t need (including clothing, furniture, appliances and groceries). The donations will find new life with families at social risk who need the items.
Your new campaign for reusable feminine pads has gotten a lot of attention. Describe how the idea originated and how these pads are made.
When we were donating food during the beginning of the pandemic, many women asked specifically for feminine products. These are expensive and something that most women need on a monthly basis. That is when the idea occurred to me that we could make pads from fabric in a way that could be washed correctly and used again.
The material inside is from recycled tee shirts and has an insulating fabric that does not allow liquid to pass through. They come in packs of three or four with instructions on how to wash and dry properly. The insulated liner and snaps are the only parts that need to be bought to make the pads. My mom, who has her own business Eco-Gi, is in charge of making the products.
What inspired you to add Bienestar Animal as a pillar of Jacó Impact?
This pillar originated last December because we heard so many reports of lost or abandoned animals, specifically dogs and cats. We decided to share flyers with the community asking for help. The community is always asking for support to find homes for abandoned animals. We receive donations to help these animals get neutered and provide food for them, in addition to finding them homes. So far we are experiencing success with posting the flyers through social media.
You recently started making eco blocks as one of your recycling projects. What are these?
Eco-blocks are basically made from empty 2-liter plastic soft drink bottles. You fill them with pieces of discarded wrappers and other small non-recyclable items that normally you would throw away. You keep filling up the bottle using a long stick pushing the trash down to keep it compact.
When the bottle is filled, it’s ready to be used for all sorts of things. Google eco-blocks and you will find many uses. I saw a picture of a doghouse made with the reusable bottles. In the future we hope to do a workshop to teach the community how they can recycle this way right in their homes.
Want to help or donate?
Contact Yor Ureña at WhatsApp: 8438-4327 to coordinate donations of money, food, furniture, electronics and many other things that you no longer need.
She is also working with Rutas de Esperanza and the Jacó Civic Center for Peace to collect donations of laptops that can be used for school children who need them.