The Refugee Crisis and Foreign Involvement: The Case of CFCI in Costa Rica


  • Jenny McGill Dallas Theological Seminary


Missiologists have long debated the effects of foreign involvement, particularly by imperial powers on their colonial soils. Regarding the current refugee crisis in Central America, a brief history is offered in relation to key development markers as well as the humanitarian aid and refugee admission that the United States government has provided to the region. The adverse and positive ramifications that foreign agencies working in these communities can have is addressed. The current crisis of migrants and refugees to Costa Rica is explored, with special focus given to one of the most impoverished neighborhoods located in San José—La Carpio. The dilemma and concerns of how best to help this community in such need are presented as well as how one humanitarian organization, Christ For the City International (CFCI), is serving there. CFCI provides a model to replicate for all who would see that La Carpio and the lives of its peoples improve. This study examines how geopolitical events and insufficient government aid have affected the mass migration occurring in Central America, particularly from Nicaragua into Costa Rica, and offers an example of how outside humanitarian organizations can best impact the poorest in those communities for sustained development.

Author Biography

Jenny McGill, Dallas Theological Seminary

Adjunct Professor in World Missions and Intercultural Studies