Development Work in Nicaragua

As we ride through Nicaragua we see many signs that say “sponsored by the government of Japan” or “donated by the people of Luxemborg” on everything from bridges to government trucks. Because of the poverty and previous instability in Nicaragua, as well as its signifigant role in Cold War politics, many countries over the years have supplied aid to this country.

Nicaragua, due to reforms made by the Sandinistas during the revolution, has many of its own existing social agencies designed to care for various aspects of society. One example is AMNLAE, the former women's branch of the Sandinistas that have since become a network of community women's health clinics called “Casa de Mujeres”. There is also a local organization that has paired up with a director in Los Angeles, CA to create the first exclusively Nicaraguan telenovela (soap opera). Since there is no sex education allowed or provided in schools, this telenovela, called Puntos De Encuentro, deals with issues ranging from homosexuality to teen pregnancy and is aired on TV nationwide.

Still, much of the aid that comes to Nicaragua at this point is through foreign organizations. We had the opportunity to visit two such organizations. Los Quinchos is an organization that works with street children, providing them a safe place to live, learn, and create a better future for themselves. Click here for an interview, picures, and further information on this organization. Second is an organization called La Esperanza Granada, an organization which recruits international volunteers to work in elementary schools in communities surrounding Granada, supports children in their studies, and supports small business development. Click here for an interview, pictures, and more information on this organization.

After you have checked out these two organizations, we invite you to join us in pondering these questions: