Latest update

Accurate figures related to the coronavirus in Nicaragua are difficult to come by, and medical professionals indicate that cases and deaths may be underreported. The Nicaraguan government has not imposed any domestic travel restrictions or national quarantine policies, but the country is under an epidemiological alert and has put some preventive measures in place.

According to Compassion Nicaragua, food security, child protection and lack of confidence in healthcare remain the biggest challenges facing children as a result of COVID-19. To target these issues, local churches have been providing food and hygiene necessities to children and their families. They have created education materials on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and have implemented child protection protocol.

READ MOREkeyboard_arrow_down READ LESSkeyboard_arrow_up

COVID-19 in Nicaragua

How is Compassion currently operating in Nicaragua?

  • Are Compassion centres open?

    All of Compassion’s local church partners and child development centres in Nicaragua are closed in line with local guidelines.

    Early in the pandemic, Compassion Nicaragua staff participated in a World Health Organisation orientation about prevention of virus spread.

    Since the pandemic began, local church centre staff have distributed 81,969 food packs and 48,905 hygiene kits and provided 1737 individuals with medical support. Some church partners have been able to provide spiritual content through videos and messaging apps. Staff members have also been able to arrange for telehealth for children who need medical care. Tutors check in regularly with the children, sending them encouraging messages.

  • Are children receiving letters?

    We are unable to safely deliver letters to children in Nicaragua at this point. 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. Staff members have been given the option to disburse monetary gifts to an appropriate, verified caregiver, if necessary. This applies to family gifts and child gifts (including birthday and final gifts). Families may spend the gift on whatever they consider most important to meet family needs. The caregiver will decide the best use of the money, recognising that sometimes purchasing food or paying rent is in the best interest of a child.

How you can pray

Thank you for praying for children and families in Nicaragua who have been impacted by COVID-19—and the local staff and churches who continue to serve them in difficult circumstances.

Please join us in praying for the following:

  • Protection and provision amidst heightened emotions and the inability for parents and caregivers to provide for their families as a result of COVID-19.
  • Wisdom for Compassion Nicaragua staff as they seek to protect and care for children, their families and local church partners during COVID-19.
  • Wisdom and guidance for doctors as they diagnose and treat the condition affecting Britney’s digestive system and liver. Pray for comfort for Britney through all the uncertainty and for answers and solutions.
  • Healing for Jeymi and Marling as they experience renal infections.
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

info

Please note: Due to the current pandemic, most child development centres in Nicaragua are temporarily closed. Local church partners continue to meet the urgent needs of the children through home-based care.

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.
icon

Compassion Program Activities in Nicaragua

arrow down

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

74

years is the average life expectancy

17%

of people over 15 cannot read and write

32%

of people lack access to proper 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.

READ MOREkeyboard_arrow_down READ LESSkeyboard_arrow_up
Map

Stories from Compassion around the world

02 Jun, 2020

Will COVID-19 Lead to Increased Poverty?

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has left millions struggling with unemployment and uncertainty. But what will it mean for our world's most vulnerable citizens—children living in poverty?.. Read more

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

13 May, 2020

How Can You Socially Distance in a Slum?

Social distancing is often a luxury for the world's most vulnerable, who live in very crowded communities. How can they still support their families while protecting them from COVID-19?.. Read more