Andres Cortéz lives just two-hundred metres down the road from the Moín School in Costa Rica. He wants to become an engineer, but for now, he is looking forward to finishing his 6th year at school. However, only six months ago, 11-year old Cortéz was reluctant to go to school and his mother worried about his safety and his future.
“We had five robberies in a month and a half,” says Silvia Raudes, Principal of the Moín School, of criminals that used to come at night and strip the tiny school bare.
“They took everything they could – the chairs, the desks, the books, even the bars on the windows. They took the tin roof one time,” she says, pointing up to the new one.
High rates of crime and unemployment are facts of life in Moín and the surrounding communities. Security wasn’t just a problem for the school but for the community in general. So while APM Terminals Moin is investing in local education, social development and environmental initiatives, the success of these initiatives as well as the positive impact the terminal has had on the community is largely due to the attention being given to security. According to the contract, APM Terminals has agreed with the Costa Rican government to reserve 7,5% of the port’s gross income for sustainable initiatives within the Limón community.
Free to learn again
There are no more robberies at the Moín School and the reason why is parked just outside the front gate: a K9 security patrol. Hired by APM Terminals, the guard sees the kids off in the afternoon and then begins patrols of the area until morning. Also, a new fence now surrounds the perimeter of the school grounds.
As a result, the Moín School’s 108 children are back in regular attendance, according to Principal Raudes. The new desks, chairs and roof, along with pens and pencils are all still there, while the new paint on the outside of the building makes it shine in the sunlight.