Our Work in Costa Rica

Segmented cleft care prevents full rehabilitation in Costa Rica. We’re partnering to ensure families have access to timely, coordinated care.

Rachel, born with cleft in rural Costa Rica, poses for a photo with her speech therapist, Carolina.

Cleft Care in Costa Rica Today

While Costa Rica has a public health system, the availability of care and resources does not meet the needs of families. Many medical staff outside the capital city are unfamiliar with cleft and are underequipped to provide effective care.

Families with limited financial resources, especially those within indigenous communities, simply cannot access Comprehensive Cleft Care.

With our local partner, we help rural families make the journey to access ongoing cleft care services, coordinate the elements of care and make continuing their cleft journey possible.

Fast Facts

  • Population: 5,217,000
  • Capital: San José
  • Below Poverty Line: 20%
  • Cleft Incidence: 85+/ year

Key Challenges

  • Key-Challenge-Psychosocial-Support

    Psychosocial Support

    Children in Costa Rica often experience bullying at school focused on their speech or facial difference and parents without knowledge of cleft can feel unprepared to help their child thrive.

  • Key-Challenge-Speech-Therapy

    Speech Therapy

    Speech therapy is limited to paid private practice beyond the age of 4, making no-cost speech support a high-demand necessity for vulnerable families.

  • Key-Challenge-Transportation

    Transportation & Accommodation

    Many families reside outside of the capital and travel to access surgery and in-person appointments. No-cost transport and access to accommodation help this burden.

Samantha Practicing with her Speech Therapist

LPH provides workshops on early stimulation in speech therapy, for families with children up to two years old. This helps parents prepare to assist their children with their speech therapy journey. Samantha, in this video works on her speech clarity.

Program Successes


Schools now regularly participate in an annual national cleft campaign


Cleft care treatments provided since partnering in 2017


Indigenous children with untreated cleft were identified as a result of the national campaign

“We know first-hand that teams must coordinate cleft care comprehensively.

We seek to provide treatments that are difficult or impossible to access through the public system such as speech therapy and psychosocial care to ensure appropriately timed rehabilitation."

- Angelica Campos, Project Director, Asociación LPH

Stories from Costa Rica

Our Partners in Cleft Care

TF has been supporting partners in Costa Rica since 2017.

Our Partnerships in Costa Rica

  • Asociación Pro Niño con Labio y/o Paladar Hendido (Asociación LPH), San José
Scroll To Top