The Bonnie Jean Laughlin Foundation

La Fundación Bonnie Jean Laughlin

San Isidro, Costa Rica


Our mission is to help special needs children and their families develop tools that allow them a better quality of life. We provide special education, language therapy and psychological therapy for groups and individuals. We also offer economic support to children with special needs whose families have little or no financial resources.

The Foundation is named for Bob and Dorothy Laughlin’s daughter Bonnie who had cerebral palsy. “She was with us for 27 wonderful years,” recalls Bob, “and she taught us to see what some people think of as a difficult situation as an opportunity. She gave us a vision.”

In 1992 the Laughlins started helping at La Escuela de Enseñanza Especial, a public school for children with special needs in Costa Rica. Bob and Dorothy were already dedicated to special needs kids back home in the United States and when they visited Costa Rica they were interested in   the community work there.

When the director of the school, Elisa Arias, was due to retire, she approached Bob about starting an additional program to further meet the great needs in the area. And so, in 1998, the Bonnie Jean Laughlin Foundation was started.

» See the Bonnie Jean Laughlin Foundation website (in Spanish).

Here in Oregon, Bob is on the board of MV Advancements (formerly Mid-Valley Rehabilitation), a private, not-for-profit organization which provides services to adults with developmental and other disabilities. Their mission is to assist persons with disabilities to develop to their highest potential and achieve fulfilling lives.