St. Bryce Missions established the St. Francis Emmaus Center in Turrialba, Costa Rica to provide a safe, comfortable place for indigenous mothers, who must journey long hours on foot to have access to medical care, in the days just before and after the birth of a child or in the event of the hospitalization of a child. Additionally, the St. Francis Emmaus Center provides health education workshops and resources for mothers.
Because of the lack of access to medical services and harsh living conditions, the Cabecar population suffers infant and maternal mortality rates nearly 5 times higher than the rest of the Costa Rican population. Common illnesses which mean a trip to the emergency room in developed areas can quickly become life threatening in the remote mountains of the reserve. Without a place to stay during a hospitalization, many families delay seeking help until the situation is grave, or even worse, until it is too late.St. Bryce Missions is collaborating with national medical directors, indigenous leaders, and locally trained midwives to help lower those statistics, save lives, and give moms and babies a better outlook for their future.