A (not-so) Little History of WCCR
The Women’s Club of Costa Rica has a long, rich history. The club was founded in 1940 (2015 is our 75th Anniversary!) by Elizabeth Oreamuno, an American, who followed her Costa Rican doctor husband to his homeland. Through WWII and the Civil Revolution, society kept a stiff upper lip. There was great turnover of membership in the 40’s, bridge and canasta parties kept the women involved, and the club still met its charitable goals.
Click on the images to read the full story of each decade, or get the complete overview below.
In the late 40’s, speakers and musicals drew an average attendance of only twenty. Yet, the club’s popular Halloween dance at the Costa Rica Country Club drew a crowd of over 500!
The 50’s and 60’s brought the golden age of Costa Rica, with large population increase, better living conditions, higher literacy. The WCCR “bloomed” as well. In 1951 the first U.S. Independence Day picnic was held with over 300 attending. The tradition, now presented by others, still continues. The 7th Annual Halloween dance that year had over 900 revelers, and raised the huge sum of $2,795 for WCCR charities. Interest groups were added during this time: groups centered on cooking, history of the country, books, and even a couturier group who shared patterns and designs for making current fashions.
Club activities were central to San Jose’s expat society for many decades. The WCCR sponsored concerts, published 5 different bilingual cookbooks, and held a multitude of interesting fund raising events to sponsor its many charitable causes. These events included Bingo Night, Las Vegas Night, Last Tango in Paris, just to name a few.
Initially born as a social organization, the club soon changed focus to add service to the country; today our motto remains “Friendship and Service.” The philanthropic activities of the past 75 years include war relief during WWII; donations to hospitals ranged from an iron lung, an electrocardioscope , equipping an intensive care unit, a machine to make wooden prosthetics, and the first mammogram machine in Costa Rica.
The scope of other contributions is varied and fascinating. Prevention of violence to women has been a recurring theme, including the production of an internationally noted novella. Education has always been a key focus. The club has provided many years of funding for both high school and university scholarships. We have been involved with text book and library programs and additional forms of assistance to schools.
The WCCR is proud to report that through the years, we have donated almost one million dollars to charitable causes.
Join Us and Help Make WCCR History!