Image for illustrative purposes.
Image for illustrative purposes.

QCOSTARICA – Ten cantones with low levels of human development and located outside the metropolitan area are home to most of Costa Rica’s young between 12 and 24 years of age, who neither study nor work, known as “nini“, for the Spanish “ni estudian, ni trabajan” … in other words, someone that doesn’t study, and doesn’t work. Just sorta bums around all day.

A study by the Contraloría General de la República (CGR) – Comptroller General, noted that in the cantones (communities) of Carillo,  Los Chiles, Guatuso, Santa Cruz, La Cruz, Talamanca, Matina, Guácimo, Siquirres and Sarapiquí is where 26% of the nini live. In real numbers that is 52.486 of the 201.870 in the age group.

The manager of the department of Social Services for the Comptroller’s office (Área de Servicios Sociales de la Contraloría), Manuel Corrales, explained that in addition, the study found weaknesses in the different government institutions that are responsible for developing and implementing social programs to meet the nini population.

The institutions are also failing in developing study and employment opportunities so that the social group can integrate into the labour market.

The CGR report says that in the last 14 years only three training programs have been developed to attract the young and provide employment.

To this end, the Comptroller General’s office has ordered various government agencies and ministries working in social, employment and human development to discuss and approve plans to improve the situation for the nini population, with the objective of reducing the size of this social group and provide them with real tools to enter the labour market.