These main institutions of great importance to our country, in charge of the health and well-being of our children, are recognized by the country as Beneméritas Institutions as a tribute to those citizens who, for their merits or their works.
National Children’s Hospital
Dr. Carlos Sáenz Herrera National Children’s Hospital is a Costa Rican pediatric hospital. It is one of the main state hospitals in the country and as such depends on the Costa Rican Social Security Fund.
It specializes in childcare and pediatric care in all areas, including psychological and psychiatric. It is one of the best pediatric hospitals in Latin America.
Dr. Carlos Sáenz Herrera started a campaign in the 1950s to collect funds to create a hospital specialized in minors.
By May 28, 1956, sufficient collection is achieved by the Social Protection Board and the Inter-American Cooperative Public Health Service. On May 24, 1964, the hospital was opened by the President of Costa Rica, Francisco José Orlich. In Costa Rica, a Telethon is held annually to cover the needs of the medical center throughout the years.
Hospicio Huérfanos de San José.
Hospicio Huérfanos de San José. The social institution founded on March 2, 1887, in the capital of San José, Costa Rica. The Fundación Hospicio de Huérfanos de San José is faithful to the principles that gave rise to it. It is part of its main motto “to help and educate minors, orphans, abandoned or at social risk”.
The Legislative Assembly, in recognition of his work in the field of protection and care of minors at social risk, granted him the title of “Benemérita Institution”. (Law 7776, La Gaceta 97 of May 21, 1998).
History of the Orphan Hospice Institute of San José.
In 1869 Doña Jerónima Fernández de Monte Alegre founded a hostel, under the name of “La Trinidad”.
In the mid-eighties, the Monte Alegre family gave its direction and administration to the Catholic Church in the person of Monsignor Bernardo Augusto Thiel, II Bishop of Costa Rica, who seeks the support of the “Catholic Society of the Ladies of the Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul ”, to carry out the work.
The first statutes under the name of Hospicio de Huérfanos were approved by the then President of the Republic Lic. Bernardo Soto Alfaro and are published in the Gazette of March 2, 1887. The Hospice was under the full responsibility of the Catholic Society of Ladies of Charity of San Vicente de Paúl, integrating the First Board of Directors, which was made up of the ladies.
In that same year of 1887, the Hospice facilities were inaugurated, on land donated by Mrs. Eduvigis Alvarado de Mora. Bishop Bernardo Augusto Thiel blesses these buildings, and this century-old construction continues to function as the headquarters. (Ave. 7, Calle 21-23, Barrio Aranjuez).
The Vincentian Volunteer established, in November 1892, a contract with the religious sisters’ Daughters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul to supervise the care of minors housed in the Institution.
This contractual relationship was maintained for nearly 100 years, until December 1998 when the Daughters of Charity retired at their own will, leaving all responsibility for direct service in the hands of the Board of Directors, which had been organizing, Following modern standards of care for children, through the hiring and strengthening of a body of professionals in social work, psychology, education and the training of the team that is in charge of the direct care of minors.
During so many years of work, many have been the needs and demands of the economic and socio-cultural context, which have been setting the tone for the creation of alternatives that facilitate timely responses to these demands.