Sunday, September 6, 2009


The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom began in 1915 when l200 women from twelve countries (many of them professionals and involved in the suffrage movement) met in The Hague, Netherlands. Their purpose in coming together was to discuss peace and freedom which was in stark contrast with the Great War being waged at that time in Europe. Initially, they visited the governments of the countries involved and vowed to continue their international efforts for peace, justice and human rights. Today this mission has grown to include disarmament, human rights and economic justice.

International Office: WILPF has its international office in Geneva staffed with a Secretary General and an International Board. There are more than a total of 50 sections of WILPF in Europe, Asia, Africa, the Americas and the South Seas.
Tri -annual meetings with members from all the sections determine the general goals for WILPF, which guide the sections working within their own perimeters toward these goals. The organization is for women and men who support the ideals of WILPF independent of political or religious connections. The WILPF international web page is .

Connection to the United Nations: WILPF has consultative status at the United Nations and has an office at the UN headquarters. The office sends out daily reports from the UN’s Permanent Disarmament Conference and is now on the agenda for NGO’s to present reports. In the Americas there are WILPF sections in Canada, the United States, Mexico, Costa Rica, Colombia, Peru and Chile. Susi Snyder is the International Secretary General.

The Costa Rican Section: WILPF is called the Liga Internacional de Mujeres Pro Paz y Libertad in Spanish or LIMPAL. The section was formed in 1981 during the time that civil wars were rampant in Central America. Over the years WILPF has continued to work on issues of peace and justice. There are two age-oriented groups in the San Jose area. One group is made up of young women and university students. This group works mainly with children and adolescents in marginal areas, on issues of conflict resolution and rights of children and youth. The more senior group works in several areas, particularly on issues of rights for women and migrants. In addition, all section members work with and support efforts for peace and human rights. Olga Carrillo is the president of the Costa Rica Section. The section office is located in the Friends Peace Center in San Jose.

The Heredia Group: Our bilingual group includes women and men from many countries. We concentrate on disarmament issues at national and international levels, and on Costa Rican children. We have an annual campaign against toys of violence, and have published a coloring book depicting ways of building a peace culture. These books are distributed to schools and organizations working with children.

In March 2009 we joined the Coalition Against Uranium Weapons and participated in the international conference held in Costa Rica. The conference mission was to promote a treaty to prohibit this type of weapons. We support and work for efforts to reduce arms and military spending and to spread a peace culture. Our E-mail address is .

Thanks from Gail Nystrom for WILPF Coloring Books

The Olive Branch of WILPF received a thank you note from Gail Nystrom responding to our gift of children’s coloring books for peace. Gail Nystrom founded the Costa Rican Humanitarian Foundation (CRHF) in 1997 and has guided the organization since its establishment. Based in the rural community of Santa Ana, Costa Rica CRHF works to improve the quality of life of the most vulnerable populations in Costa Rica. Find out more about this organization at
Gail’s letter follows:

Dear Friends from WILPF,

On behalf of the children in the La Carpio School, I would like to thank you so much for the wonderful coloring books about Peace that you donated. We were able to go into the school and work with six groups of children with twenty volunteers for several hours in the morning. We used the time to talk about peace and nonviolence in the neighborhood and the home. We also gave each child a box of colored pencils that you had donated. We let the teachers and the director of the school know that you had donated these items.

I appreciate your concern for these children and look forward to working with you in the future.


Gail Nystrom

Director Costa Rican Humanitarian Foundation