Compassion began working in Nicaragua in 2002 by partnering with local churches on the western coast to reach poor children in their communities. Today, we serve more than 50,000 children through partnerships with approximately 174 churches. With each new partnership, we are able to reach more children desperately hoping for a brighter future.
Nicaragua is literally translated as ‘surrounded by water’. On the western side of the country, Nicaragua’s coastline meets the Pacific Ocean, while on the eastern coast the Caribbean Sea meets its shores. It is bordered by Costa Rica to the south and Honduras to the north. Its proximity to Costa Rica has encouraged tourism between the countries.
While 90 percent of children are enrolled in primary school, many children are unable to attend due to child labor, which affects approximately 10 percent of children and adolescents. Exclusion from the school system mainly affects rural indigenous populations and Afro-descendent families, as well as children who have disabilities or live on the streets.
Religious freedom and tolerance is promoted by the Nicaraguan Government and forms part of the constitution. Nicaragua does not have a recognized state religion but the Roman Catholic Church has significant political influence and over half of the population identifies themselves as Roman Catholic. Anecdotal evidence points to proportionally higher church attendance among members of the new Evangelical churches than in Catholic and traditional Protestant churches. In poorer neighborhoods, the small Evangelical churches are often filled to capacity.
Your support is helping to further this growth of spreading the gospel into these communities. You have made it possible to bring God’s love and Compassion’s work to children in need through a church plant and Child Development Center. We are excited to share this journey with you as we bring change to the children, their families and the entire community.
- Nicaragua has the largest land area of all the countries in Central America.
- Nicaragua is the second-poorest nation in the region, after Haiti.
- Over 20 percent of Nicaraguan children experience growth stunting, an often irreversible condition resulting from chronic malnutrition during early childhood.
- 40 percent of Nicaraguan girls are married by the age of 18.