I am a bisexual woman, graduated in Political Science from the University of Costa Rica and current student of Social Work. Represents the Center for Research and Promotion for Central America of Human Rights (CIPAC), a nongovernmental organization in Costa Rica, committed to the eradication of manifestations of discrimination generated from the expression of sexual orientations and / or gender identities / LGBTI sex since 1990. I work as a political advocacy coordinator, as well as a promoter of Human Rights two years ago in the organization and is committed to the issue of LGBT adulthood in the country, being considered as part of the priorities of the organization since 2015. I am currently studying the Higher Diploma in Sexual Diversity and Human Rights, of the Latin American Council of Social Sciences (CLACSO), as well as a specialization in Project Management from the Costa Rican Technological Institute (TEC).
Acuña Salas, K.
Promoting respect for the sexual expressions and gender identities of Older Adults in Costa Rica, El Salvador and Panamá.
Since the establishment of our organization in Costa Rica, we have made efforts to strengthen visibility, recognition, and respect towards Older LGBT Citizens and their sexual expression by implementing a three-year project in three countries which started in 2016 and is estimated to end in 2019.
This project is based on a series of investigations carried out between 2014 and 2015 in each of the involved countries, with the objectives of identifying: 1) The needs of attention and nursing care of LGBTI seniors as well as their main concerns facing their elder age, 2) the accessibility of care services and the level of commitment by the facilities to create a non-discriminatory environments and 3) the legal barriers that exist, to assure equal recognition and protection by law of the LGBT seniors.
Broadly spoken, the results reflect the prevalence of myths and stereotypes that lead to discriminatory attitudes, as well as issues in the legal system that put this population in a situation of vulnerability and therefore undermine the principals of equality and non-discrimination.
By recognizing these realities, our projects objective is the improvement the integral health conditions, respect, and openness towards the diverse expressions of sexuality of elder LGBT citizens. Therefore, we have implemented training processes in sexuality, human rights and sexual rights with care center staff, other senior citizens, caretakers, and specialists, as well as family members and health sector personnel to promote inclusion.
At the same time, we have undertaken political advocacy with the aim of generating changes in the regulations that monitor the centers to ensure equal treatment and inclusion. We also encouraged internal anti-discrimination policies and the creation of materials that offer solutions to situations which harm these people. Furthermore, we have made the topic visible by organizing forums and meetings with authorities involved with the subject of aging to incorporate the needs of this population and additionally created a website that gives input about the problematization of the topic and comprehensive care.
Our strategy is innovative because we are not trying to find room exclusively for elder LGBT citizens but rather create changes at a structural level which ensures a respectful and inclusive environment for all people.