“Tocando corazones” (touching hearts) is the name of the campaign that aims to draw attention to the importance of taking care of this organ and preventing the onset of heart disease.
This campaign consists of the exhibition of 35 sculptures in the shape of a heart, which will be taken to various cultural and commercial sites in the country and then auctioned, in order to raise funds to support patients who need open heart surgery.
According to statistics of the International Heart Foundation (FUNICOR), Costa Rica, 1,500 people need this surgery each year. However only 700 procedures are performed.
The campaign is led by doctor Elliot Garita and is sponsored by the University of Medical Sciences (UCIMED).
The idea behind this project from FUNICOR is to operate on people who have no resources and who have heart disease. In general, we hope to be able to support a large group, but the key factor is the people. There are two important elements in this campaign: the artists who donated their time and work, and elite companies in Costa Rica that decided to support and give a lesson in solidarity,”
said the doctor.
Cardiovascular diseases are the most common cause of death in Costa Rica and Central America, along with traumatic deaths. In the region, at least 7,000 people don’t receive the proper care, but only 5% of them have the possibility of traveling to other countries to have the surgery with their own resources, 15% can afford the costs of the operation through insurance companies or loans and the remaining 80% have no chance of getting their own means to undergo surgeries, according to FUNICOR.
This illness is becoming more frequent in younger people. The objective of FUNICOR is to work on a project so that in four years Costa Rica is the most important cardiovascular reference center in the region. Currently, 70% of Central American heart surgery is performed in the country.
The campaign began on June 3rd with the 35 hearts made by renowned artists. These will be in the main shopping centers of the country on the following dates:
June 3rd to 25th: Multiplaza Escazú.
June 26th to July 16th: CityMall, Alajuela.
July 17th to August 6th: Paseo de las Flores, Heredia.
August 7th to 27th: Paseo Metropolis, in Carthage.
August 28th to September 17th: Multiplaza del Este.