Latest update

Nicaragua has experienced significant economic loss and an increase in poverty due to the impacts of COVID-19 and the hurricane season of 2020. While reported positive cases in the country have been low, medical experts estimate the true figures to be much higher. Limited access to testing and restrictions on certain media coverage have affected these results.

Most child development centres in Nicaragua have now resumed normal program activities for registered children. Some continue to meet in small groups or support children through home visits. Since the beginning of the pandemic, our local church partners have delivered over 294,700 food packs and 126,000 hygiene kits to vulnerable families.

Watch the video below to hear the latest update from our church partners in Nicaragua.

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Country update

How is Compassion currently operating in Nicaragua?

  • Are Compassion centres open?

    Many Nicaraguan child development centres have resumed normal program activities, while some continue meeting in small groups during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Are children receiving letters?

    The majority of letters are delayed in Nicaragua, which means it may take longer for you to receive letters from your sponsored child. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t write! We encourage you to continue sending your sponsored child letters of encouragement and hope. What a joyful day it will be when those letters are delivered!

  • Are gifts being delivered?

    Gifts continue to be distributed in Nicaragua. Local workers will meet with the child and family to determine the best use of the gift and ensure it meets their greatest need.

How you can pray

Thank you for praying for the children, families and local church partners we serve in Nicaragua.

Please join us in praying for the following:

  • Pray for wisdom for Genesis’ doctors as they work to diagnose the cause of her illness.
  • Pray for comfort for Kinberling and her family as they grieve her father’s passing.
  • Pray that God would provide the medical support Kevin’s mother needs.
  • Pray for God's peace and comfort for Cynthia in the midst of uncertainty.
  • Pray for healing and peace for Yefri, who recently went through a very traumatic experience.
  • Pray for the safety and protection of all children in Nicaragua.
  • Pray for wisdom and strength for local and national leaders.
  • Pray for provision according to their needs for the local church partners we serve in Nicaragua.
Fighting Malnutrition in Nicaragua

Fighting Malnutrition in Nicaragua

When COVID-19 struck Nicaragua, the already struggling country saw a rise in unemployment, especially in rural communities. The ability to provide nutritious food for their children became a challenge for parents and caregivers.   Read more open_in_new

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Please note: Due to the current pandemic, some child development centres in Nicaragua are operating at limited capacity or through home visits rather than group gatherings. Local church partners continue to meet the urgent needs of the children by adapting to suit the current guidelines.

A snapshot of Compassion's Child Sponsorship Program in Nicaragua

Compassion’s program is contextualised across countries and communities, as well as age groups.

  • Children aged 1 to 3 receive home-based care and attend one group activity at the Compassion centre each month.
  • Children aged 4 to 12 visit the Compassion centre for six to eight hours a week across three days.
  • Students aged 12 and older attend the centre for four hours twice a week to learn vocational skills.
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Compassion Program Activities in Nicaragua

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Compassion assisted children in Nicaragua typically attend program activities at their local child development centre after school and on Saturdays. Here is an example of what a typical program day looks like for children in Nicaragua.

Devotional time - Children learn to pray.

Spiritual lessons - Children sing songs and learn Bible stories.

Break time - Children can play in a safe environment and develop friendships.

Social-emotional lessons - Children learn conflict resolution skills and how to develop healthy self-esteem. Many children come from challenging home environments and are taught social and personal skills.

Lunch and social time - Children usually receive a meal consisting of rice, meat, tortilla and natural juice, tea or cereal. Children sometimes receive a snack of fruit salad, rice with milk or a thick hot drink made from corn meal.

Health lessons - Children learn practical health and hygiene tips.

Letter writing and career planning - Older children work with local staff to identify their strengths and interests and set goals for their future.

The children also enjoy camps, sports, field trips and art. Students can participate in vocational training workshops in music, computer literacy, sewing, carpentry, baking, hair styling, entrepreneurship and handicrafts. Parents and caregivers meet monthly.

The greatest needs impacting children living in poverty in Nicaragua

24.9%

of people live in poverty

17%

of people over 15 cannot read and write

27%

of people lack access to basic sanitation

Nicaragua spiralled into crisis in 2018, with political protest erupting into widespread violence. Thousands fled the country, most heading south into Costa Rica, and life is increasingly difficult. In the grip of the COVID-19 pandemic, information has been slow to emerge and the nation’s President, Daniel Ortega has publicly dismissed the risks.

In April 2018, the Ortega government announced reforms to Nicaragua’s pension system. The announcement was greeted by initial protests that were crushed by pro-government groups, but the heavy-handed response triggered widespread outrage, mass protests across the country, and ever more violence. More than 300 people were killed and thousands injured.

In the years since his crackdown on the protests, President Ortega and his wife, Rosario Murillo, who is the nation’s vice-president, have seized even more power, taking full control over all branches of government.

After a long history of colonisation and military rule, Nicaragua has struggled to provide its citizens with basic services. Most of its wealth is held by a small group of wealthy families. The majority of Nicaraguans subsist on very low wages and children have been the worst affected.

In the early part of this decade, Nicaragua had made some economic progress: its economy was growing and it had largely avoided the cartel and gang-related crime racking its northern neighbours, El Salvador and Honduras.

But progress has stalled under the COVID-19 pandemic. As in several other Central and South American nations, medical experts have questioned the official data as hospitals have struggled to keep up with a growing number of cases.

Many children face a new threat of hunger, and the ever-present risks of gang life and child labour trap thousands.

Local churches continue to reach out to children living in poverty, helping them to gain access to education, nutrition and the love of Jesus expressed through the local church.

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14 Mar, 2018

Why Do My Sponsored Child's Letters Sound the Same?

It can be disappointing if your sponsored child hasn’t responded to your questions or even mentioned the letter you sent them. Here’s why this could be happening, plus handy tips to prevent it. .. Read more

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What Possessions Do Children Living in Poverty Treasure Most?

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Have You Sent These Things to Your Sponsored Child?

Wondering what you can send to your sponsored child? Read on for the items you can include with your letters, plus learn what not to send... Read more