The answer is always LOVE (or sometimes, "42"!)

The answer is always LOVE (or sometimes, "42"!)
My philosophy is LOVEISM...

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Can't buy this at Wal-Mart! Wise Heart early children's books, the Smart Values Series

I cannot recall any of the holiday gifts I received when I was 2, 3, 4, or even 5 years old; however, I do vividly recall the books that were read to me over and over (and then later, the books I learned to read with), and I even remember their message. For example, “Green Eggs and Ham”, by Dr. Seuss, is one of my life mantra’s:  Try everything at least once (even cliff-diving in Hawaii, or moving to Africa when you are 18 years old!)  Or , what about a book as simple as “Goodnight Moon”?  And who can forget “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein, or Maurice Sendak’s “Where the Wild Things Are”?

I know you are all being flooded with holiday gift discounts, sales and such, but this year you have the opportunity to give a brand new, conscientious series of early children’s books, called Wise Heart Books.  People cannot buy these books at Borders, Target or Wal-Mart, so no worries about a gift faux-pas! 

The Wise Heart Books’ “Smart Values Series” is a collection of five delightful stories that help children understand the positive and transformative nature of good values. Each story describes how certain values – such as generosity, cleanliness, and honesty – can change us for the better and just for the holidays:  you can get all five books for only $24.99.  Or you can buy them separately for only $6.99 each (but this does not include shipping and handling—which makes me question, what exactly do they mean by handling?!!!). 

To take a peek for yourself of these artistic new books before they hit Borders, please visit:

On top of your gift to your favorite niece or your colleague that just had a baby boy, the proceeds to go to the Women’s Well-Being and Development Foundation (  youth educational programs in La Carpio, the slums of San Jose, Costa Rica.   We are currently in the process of developing 3 slum houses into an eco-friendly community play, learn and community center.

And only until Christmas, are we offering this deal:

5 books for only $24.99 (this is 20% off the regular price!!!)
$6.99 a book
(does not include shipping and handling)

Free shipping for orders over $50
To order or for more information:

Monday, November 22, 2010

Need help with the La Carpio Children’s Annual Xmas Party!

On DEC 17, we, at the Women’s Well-Being and Development Foundation ( ), are holding our annual Children’s Christmas party for the children we work with in La Carpio, San Jose, Costa Rica.

The children look forward to this event all year round, as well as their parents.  And this year, we are expecting a total of 200 children and parents!  We still need resources to purchase food, decorations, rent buses, and of course, gifts for the kiddies.

There are many, many ways you can help:

  • Of course, money donations are always valuable:
  • Donations of gifts, worth no more than 5,000 colones (or $10 USD) each please (so the kids feel they all get “equal” value gifts) and this year, we are trying to individualize gifts, so each child feels individually acknowledged.
  • Donations of pastries, chocolates and sweets for the kids.
  • Party decorations (even if we can just borrow some Xmas decorations!)
  • Music: A sound system with DJ (but live music is preferred!)
  • Face Painters, clowns, magicians, balloon artists, children’s entertainment, games
  • Photographer and Videographer
  • Set Up and Clean Up for the party
 If you have any questions, concerns, or brilliant ideas as to how to make this the BEST Christmas EVER for these kids, please contact me directly at

Pura vida,
Kelly of the Pattersons

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Kelly’s new role with WWD-F (También en mal Español!)

I would love to do a survey of tourists and Costa Ricans (who live outside of San Jose), and ask them if they have ever heard of “La Carpio”?  I suspect most of them, both visitors and Ticos alike, will answer “no.”  “La Carpio” is basically the “slums” of San Jose and like most slums, unless you live there or have family there, no one ever visits, much less wants to accidentally end up there while trying to find the San Pedro Mall.  The Women’s Well-Being and Development Foundation (WWD-F) is one of the few local women-designed and operated; non-profit, community-based organizations specifically addressing the well-being, internal and external development, and quality education and empowerment of women and children living in La Carpio.  (Just my cup of coffee!)

Previously, I was just a fan and supporter of the quality work of WWD-F; now, I am a volunteer member of this extraordinary, international team of powerful, inspired, and resourceful women.  WWD-F might be new to you, but I have done some pro bono consulting with them in the past, as well as actively promoted last year’s big children’s Christmas party. 

This is Keilyn, she wants to be a singer or doctor, when she grows up.

This is the 3rd building that WWD-F is hoping to be able to purchase for their women and children's alternative community education center and play ground
Every Tuesday, we all go out to La Carpio to play with the kids, do some workshops and then eat!

A typical street in La Carpio, San Jose, Costa Rica

They do not have playgrounds in La Carpio, so this is where kids play
For the time being, I am taking on various roles with WWD-F which range from promoting this year’s Annual Children’s Christmas Party (more details to come shortly!); working on their new website ( as well as assisting in the design of an integrated social media communications and marketing plan; and marketing their new series of children’s books, called Wise Heart Books, which focus on teaching values to children in a fun, memorable way—again, more about this soon!

Current projects of the Women’s Well-Being and Development Foundation (WWD-F):

  • Experiential, uplifting children’s education program called Ilori Educational Program, which includes “playshops”, fieldtrips, and events/activities outside of La Carpio.
  • Educational Center Canto Al Sol: a preschool located in Lomas de Tepeyac, San Jose-- with programs such as yoga, swimming, music and the arts, in addition to early childhood development education.
  • Wise Heart children’s books—which will partially fund all current WWD-F projects
  • Women’s Support Group called Granos Solidarios, which is currently working on putting together a small group business, in addition to training and support in conflict resolution; parenting skills; nutrition; self-esteem development; community organization; and holistic health care.
  • The Sattva Vita Complementary  Health Care Center, located in Guadalupe, San Jose, which is staffed by certified Aryuvedic practitioners and other professional alternative and holistic health providers.

WWD-F just purchased two buildings in La Carpio (and intend to purchase a third building) and are actively in the process of transforming this series of buildings, in the middle of the slums, into an eco-friendly, safe, welcoming, and most importantly, fun women and children’s community education center with everything from an organic garden and playground to classrooms, library and computer lab and more!  For information about WWD-F:

Ahora, en mal Español

Me encantaría hacer una encuesta de los turistas y los costarricenses (que viven fuera de San José), y pedirles que si alguna vez han oído hablar de "La Carpio"? Sospecho que la mayoría de ellos, tanto los visitantes como los ticos por igual, se responde "no". "La Carpio" es básicamente el "barrios bajos" de San José y como la mayoría de barrios pobres, a menos que viva allí o tiene familia allí, nadie visita nunca mucho menos quiere acabar accidentalmente allí tratando de encontrar el Mall San Pedro. La mujer Bienestar y Fundación para el Desarrollo (WWD-F) es uno de los pocos locales de mujeres, diseñados y operados, sin fines de lucro, organizaciones de base comunitaria que aborden específicamente el bienestar, el desarrollo interno y externo, y la calidad de la educación y el empoderamiento de las mujeres y los niños que viven en La Carpio. (Sólo mi taza de café!)

Anteriormente, yo era un admirador y partidario de la calidad del trabajo de WWD-F, y ahora, soy un miembro voluntario de este extraordinario equipo, internacional de mujeres poderosas, inspirado, y con recursos. WWD-F puede ser nuevo para usted, pero he hecho algunas consultorías pro bono con ellos en el pasado, así como el año pasado promovió activamente la fiesta de Navidad de los niños grandes.

Por el momento, estoy asumiendo diversos roles con WWD-F, que van desde la promoción anual de este año la fiesta de Navidad para la Infancia (más detalles a venir en breve!), Trabajando en su nuevo sitio web (http://www.wwd-f. org / index.html), así como ayudar en el diseño de una red de comunicaciones integrado de medios sociales y plan de marketing, y comercialización de su nueva serie de libros para niños, llamado Sabio Libros del Corazón, que se centran en la enseñanza de valores a los niños de una manera divertida y memorable de nuevo, más sobre esto pronto!

Los proyectos actuales de la Mujer, Bienestar y Fundación para el Desarrollo (WWD-F):

• Experiencial, edificante programa de educación de los hijos llamados Ilori Programa de Educación, que incluye "playshops", excursiones, eventos y actividades de las afueras de La Carpio.
• Centro Educativo Canto al Sol: una escuela preescolar ubicada en Lomas de Tepeyac, San José - con programas como el yoga, la natación, la música y las artes, además de la educación temprana de desarrollo infantil.
• libros sabios hijos del Corazón-que en parte se financiará todos los proyectos actuales
• Grupo de Apoyo de Mujeres denominado Granos Solidarios, que actualmente está trabajando en armar un negocio pequeño grupo, además de la formación y apoyo en la resolución de conflictos, habilidades de crianza, nutrición, desarrollo de la autoestima, organización comunitaria y la atención de salud integral.
• El Sattva Vita Complementaria Centro de Salud, ubicado en Guadalupe, San José, que es atendida por profesionales certificados Aryuvedic y otros tipos de profesionales y otros proveedores de salud integral.

WWD-F acaba de adquirir dos edificios en La Carpio (y la intención de comprar un tercer edificio) y se activa en el proceso de transformación de esta serie de edificios, en medio de los barrios bajos, en un eco-amigable, seguro y acogedor, y lo más importante, las mujeres y el centro de diversión de los niños educación de la comunidad con todo, desde un jardín orgánico y un parque infantil a las aulas, biblioteca y laboratorio de computación y mucho más! Para obtener información acerca WWD-F:

Friday, October 29, 2010

My first clinic visit at Operation Safe Drinking Water (I told you someone was going to get hurt on that dangerous, submerged dock in Bahia Grande!)

by Kelly N Patterson

Don’t worry-- I am not going to post every clinic visit here at the Operation Safe Drinking Water Base Camp (only the interesting ones!)  However, because this was my first clinic visit since I arrived; and an excellent example of the unique challenges of health care out here; and recently, I predicted an ER visit from the exact location of today’s injury (remember the slimy submerged dock photo at Bahia Grande primary school?), I am posting about it.  I am also hoping you get a better idea as to what challenges we face out here, as healthcare workers, in the remote islands off the coast of east Panama.

Ermelinda happens to be the wife of one of our local MacGyver’s around here named Benerito; he has been working with Operation Safe Drinking Water for over 2 years now as a general handyman/laborer.  Benerito and Ermelinda have 3 kids and go to an evangelical Christian church EVERY night.  Their children attend the very same primary school in Bahia Grande that I visited a few days ago with Maribel (Operation Safe Drinking Water has installed 2 rain catchment water tanks at this school—I have a whole photo album up on Face Book) as part of evaluating and monitoring the water tanks, and as part of my local community needs assessment.

Anyway, Little Benerito, aged 4, apparently slipped on that filthy, submerged (and no doubt germ/scum infested) dock (which is full of trash) and cut the very bottom of his heel-- and of course, it is infected; and of course, he has no shoes.  Shoes are a luxury here (that is why Centro Infantil Cristiano was delivering shoes to children in villages outside of Changuinola; visit for the blog about this trip!)  And of course, both he and his mother WALKED to my house.

And of course, the parents could not tell me when this happened exactly, nor if it involved metal, glass, wood, or what exactly cut him (if it was a rusty metal, we will know very soon and there will be a trip to the hospital for a tetanus shot and then some!)

 So how do you clean and dress a deep, infected heel cut (a) for an active 4 year old; (b) a kid with no shoes, who basically lives on a swampy island; (c) people with no medicines at the house; (d) people you know are not using clean water to clean their bodies or home—people who use a river or the ocean to bathe; (e) people with no bathroom, so they go out in the bushes (stepping in other people’s poo); (f) people who do not know “Wash your hands” is the universal law of health—you see where this is going right? 

It is not as simple as clean, dry, antibiotic cream, and bandage—how do you keep the bandage dry in these conditions?  Even if they wanted to BUY shoes, there is not a shoe store on this island!  How do you prevent the further spread of this infection to the boy and his family?!!!

Well, while Little Benerito was bravely soaking his heel in warm soapy water (the only time he shyly teared was when I applied a liquid antiseptic to the wound area—I knew it must be burning), I went through the treatment with both parents several times, which included—“before you clean his wound, wash your hands; after you clean his wound, wash your hands.” 

Stressing that they had to soak his foot; clean it (I showed them how); dry it; apply antibiotic cream; and bandage it twice a day—an elaborate ritual that I sincerely hope they will follow.  I tried to explain staph infection to them, showing them it would move up his leg to his heart (I think they got it.)  I am pretty sure it is not staph infection, but I wanted the parents to know that I was serious about the treatment ritual—if they do not use clean hands and clean cloths, etc. then there really will be staph infection among them all.

“Make sure the cloth you use to clean his wound is CLEAN, with boiling hot water, and then clean the cloth again when you are done. “

I ended up giving Little Benerito one of my rainbow socks as a cover to the bandage (he loved it!)  I told the parents to make him wear the sock over his bandage, take it off every night and clean it in boiling water, and let it dry while he sleeps—he will have to wear the same sock the next day. 

And since my first clinic patient happened to be related to Benerito-- who is truly a hard-worker, always helpful and patiently teaching me Spanish daily (murcielago= bat), I ended up making my fave African dish (my curry tuna, spinach pasta dish) for Ermelinda and Little Benerito because they spent their lunch hour at the clinic. 

During lunch, when not asking a million questions about Guaymi/Guomi customs and rituals, I amused them with photos of Africa.  Benerito loved the photos of the animals (some animals he could not identify—they had never seen a gazelles, baboons, or ostriches); and Ermelinda was very interested in the local women’s market (something I have not yet seen here.) 

I have chalk, so I let Little Benerito draw on my porch while I continued to learn about the local culture, or lack there of—according to Ermelinda, there is no traditional Guaymi/Guomi clothes or costume; and no traditional wedding ceremony (I showed her photos of a Zulu wedding to illustrate this); and there is no traditional “dance” (like the Honduran Garifuna “Punta”); etc.  Interesting.

Every day I learn about 40 new things—from Spanish words to how to outsmart the bats to how to plant cilantro without the crabs eating it all.

Operation Safe Drinking Water partners with local community-based organization, Centro Infantil Cristiano

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By Kelly N Patterson

Outskirts of Changuinola, October 21, 2010—

In order to most effectively address and sustain the basic needs and primary health care of the local Guomi, or Guaymi, (indigenous) people of the Bocas del Toro region, it is critical that all sectors work together to meet community needs. Therefore, the Operation Safe Drinking Water (OSDW) team met up with a multi-purpose, Changuinola-based community organization named Centro Infantil Cristiano, last Thursday in Almirante.

Local Panamanian community organizer, Melva Marriot de Brid, is the ambitious and charismatic founder and president of two different community-based organizations: Centro Infantil Cristiano, which seeks to address mother and children’s health and welfare, and Centro de Ayuda y Rehabilitacion de Viviendas, which seeks to address drug and alcohol addiction throughout the Almirante region. Melva met the OSDW team in downtown Almirante, along with her two colleagues: former local preacher, Edgardo, and Rupert Harris, who is trying to set up youth sports development programs, in his spare time, throughout the area—mainly football, volleyball, and baseball.

Melva and her enthusiastic team (all wearing red shirts in the photos) took OSDW to three different Guomi (or Guyami) communities just outside of downtown Changuinola: San San Puente, Puente Negro, and Tibiti. She took OSDW to these communities to demonstrate the need for community rain-water catchment systems and basic primary health care education, as well as to deliver donated shoes to school children, some clothes, and snacks. NOTE: Even though public schools are free in Panama, families are still responsible for purchasing a school uniform, shoes, books, school supplies, and provide their own transportation to school—which is mainly walking through grassy (snake-filled) fields, across swamps and sometimes, crossing an un-bridged river.

Melva explained to OSDW that aside from distributing donated items to these communities-- which have an 80% unemployment rate; lack of public infrastructure (such as sidewalks, sanitation systems, electricity, poor public services, etc. ); low levels of education; poor housing conditions; and an average family size of 6 children-- Centro Infantil Cristiano has successfully launched several sewing income generation projects with local women’s groups; built 3 community “comedors” (or kitchens) where she has taught mothers how to prepare and cook nutritious foods for their families; and through Centro de Ayuda y Rehabilitacion de Viviendas, they have personally escorted extreme drug addicts, a 9-hour bus ride, to professional drug rehabilitation facilities in Panama City (Melva’s dream is to create a drug and alcohol rehab community home in Almirante.) In addition, Melva has authored a cook book, featuring typical Bocas region cuisine, entitled “Cocina Tipica de Bocas del Toro” (published in Spanish only, 2008), with all proceeds going to support her organizations.

Basically, Centro Infantil Cristiano has asked OSDW to partner in the creation of 6 new community comedors (kitchens) in the Changuinola outskirts--complete with nutritional education, cooking lessons and basic water/sanitation prevention and education— by installing 6 new community rain catchment water systems. Therefore, OSDW and Centro Infantil Cristiano will be working together to create 6 new community comedors throughout the region, complete with nutrition and sanitation awareness and education, as well as 6 community water tanks to provide clean, safe drinking, cooking and cleaning water.

To learn more about this joint community project, to donate, or participate, please contact OSDW at or visit 


Photo 1:  Maribel Bass of OSDW handing out shoes to children in Puente Negro.

Photo 2:  Joe Bass (OSDW) discussing partnering with Centro Infantil Cristiano in creating 6 community “comedors” (kitchens.)

 Photo 3:  (from left to right) Melva Marriot de Brid (CIC), Joe Bass (OSDW), Rupert Harris (CIC), Edgardo (CIC), and Maribel Bass (OSDW) holding boxes of donated school shoes.

 Photo 4:  An example of the current community water well at San San Puente—notice the rust and there is no cover—which means animals, debris, dirt, rubbish, and even small children can fall into the well.  An open well can also serve as a breeding ground for mosquitoes and all kinds of amoebas—which lead to diarrhea, worms, and other water-born diseases.

Photo 5:  Here is a photo of the local women and children gathering in San San Puente to pick up donations.

Photo 6:  A typical house in all three communities—note: this house is home to a single mother with 10 kids.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Kelly is moving to Panama! Operation Safe Drinking Water

Kelly N Patterson is moving to the island of San Crisotbal, part of the Bocas del Toro region of Panama in mid-October, 2010. Kelly will be working as Development and Communications Director for Operation Safe Drinking Water ( which is a small, nonprofit community-based primary health care and rural development organization which serves indigenous Panamanian communities on over 30 islands.

More details to follow shortly!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Kelly's new role with CRROB

At the end of June 2010, Kelly N Patterson is moving back to Costa Rica to work as Social Media Network Guru/Co-Marketing Coordinator for Costa Rica Rainforest Outward Bound (known in Costa Rica as, Fundacion Costa Rica Escuela de Aventura y Conservacion.) She will be based in Tres Rios, just outside of San Jose.

This is a dream job for Kelly because (a) she has always been a fan of Outward Bound; (b) the job is all about using her communications and writing skills to promote a reputable organization that inspires and empowers people in a FUN, challenging way (involving everything from white water rafting to surfing to zip-wire flying, etc.); (c) this job takes her back to Costa Rica (pura vida!); (d) she will be close to a lot of friends; and (e) she will have unlimited access to Chilero and the world’s best coffee!

And know that Costa Rica Rainforest Outward Bound is not just for “kids”, many faith-based groups, civil society groups, and companies set up customized team and leadership building courses with us!

For more about Costa Rica Rainforest Outward Bound please visit the site, and make sure to check out the blog:

Pura vida!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Ask me about pro bono nonprofit communications and marketing!

In order to expand our professional portfolio and create more connections with peer nonprofit organizations, 501(c)ommunications is currently doing some pro bono, project-based communications and marketing work with selected candidates. For example, we are currently working with Answer, a program created by the Rutgers University Center of Applied Psychology, on a social media marketing campaign.

About 501(c)ommunications:

Basically, 501(c)ommunications is a small, intimate, shared, professional and affordable, and multi-skilled communications and marketing team solely for non-profits-- created, produced and staffed by nonprofit professionals (meaning: we are experienced and sensitive to the needs and challenges of the nonprofit industry.)

Essentially, 501(c)ommunications caters to new, small and/or under-sourced NGOs who need professional multi-media PR, marketing, communications, and IT work done in order to maintain and/or develop their services and products, but cannot afford to hire full-time staff, or a team. We do everything from branding to project management.

Therefore, if you have a specific communications or marketing project that needs to be done yesterday, I suggest you contact me to see if your organization and your project qualify as a pro bono candidate.

For more information, contact me at

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Well, I put out the energy I find work that was (a) meaningful to me, (b) fully utilized my 15 years of domestic and international NGO working experience, (c) allowed me to use my multi-media communications skills, especially writing, as a tool for education and positive change, and (d) allowed me to work, from anywhere in the world, on a variety of critical issues. And thus, 501(c)ommunications appeared.

Therefore, today, I officially joined 501(c)ommunications, based in DC, which serves various 501c3-status organizations across the country. Basically, 501(c)ommunications ( is a small, intimate, shared, professional and affordable communications and marketing team solely for non-profits-- created, produced and staffed by nonprofit professionals (meaning: we are experienced and sensitive to the needs and challenges of the nonprofit industry.)

Essentially, 501 (c)ommunications caters to new, small and under-sourced NGOs who need professional multi-media PR, marketing and communications work done in order to maintain and/or develop their services and products, but cannot afford to hire full-time staff, or a team. This is an economically savvy alternative, with various compensation options, to meeting an organization’s immediate, short and long-term PR, marketing and communications needs, when the budget does not allow in-house staff or team.

From branding to web design, content and maintenance; from e-CRM to online marketing and advertising; from e-newsletters to print publications; from old skool press releases to fact sheets--501(c)ommunications, among the 5 of us, will do it all. This also includes planning, consulting, and project management.

My new role is as sales advocate and consultant. If you have any questions about how we can work with your organization, please contact me at my new email address:

Pura vida,
Kelly N Patterson

Friday, January 29, 2010

Kelly N. Patterson
Global Multi-Media Communications Specialist / Writer/Editor

15 years serving international nonprofits, development agencies, academic institutions, the arts, and social entrepreneurial enterprises

Titles include: E-Content Manager and Editor; Social Media Specialist; Journalist; Public Information Writer/Editor; Development Executive; Grant Writer; Script Writer; Curriculum Developer; PR/Marketing Writer; Media Liaison; Speech Writer; Press Coordinator; Fundraising Guru; and Copy Writer/Editor

Former Health and Sciences Reporter for Reuters (SADC Region); previous clients include World Bank, Habitat for Humanity International, ICW, DFID, VSO, Medicins Sans Frontiers, DED, Seoul National University, EBS (Educational Broadcasting Systems, Korea), University of South Carolina; School of Public Health, Art Basel, Save the Children, BBC, Paramedics for Children, The Well Project, Camino Seguro, CouchSurfing International, Bajan Dream Project

Multi-media vehicles include international and local press; web development: management, editing, and writing; engineering online social media campaigns with integrated marketing, communications and PR; direct-mail campaigns; grant writing; public awareness campaigns; educational television/film design, scripting and development; press releases; e-newsletters; eCRM; journalism; educational texts; brochures; fact sheets; presentations and exhibitions; press kits and PR materials; ghost-writing/speech writing; proposal writing; report writing; copy writing/editing; research

Diverse range of multi-media communications, marketing and PR skills; easily adaptable to any audience from 5 year old Guatemalan orphans to Kofi Annan and the corporate sector; chief motivation to use writing and communications skills/experience as a tool for public education and positive change

Phone: 510/684 6497 E-mail:

FACE BOOK: Kelly N Patterson

Current and very, very recent multi-media communications work

Kelly N. Patterson's current blogs:

For all you could possibly know about me:
FACE BOOK: Kelly N Patterson
Twitter, Digg, Tribe, CouchSurfing, Trazzler, etc: KellyKarma

Recent Independent Contracts (within the past year):

• Former contributing writer for Voice of Nosara (local Nosara, Costa Rica newspaper-- and Nightstyle (national Costa Rica entertainment magazine); also many other local publications: The Mountain Howler, and
• (creator, blogging and social media network marketing)
• (blogger)
• (web copy and social media marketing)
• (web copy and social media marketing)
• Fundraising Guru for
• (social media marketing)
• (blogger and consultant)
• (social media marketing)
• (blogger)
• (blogger)
• (blogger)
• (blogger)