Partnering with people to alleviate poverty.

Nicaragua today

Nicaragua, with an estimated annual per capita gross national income (GNI) of US$ 980 in 2007 is the poorest country in Central America. In comparison, in 2007 the per capita GNI in El Salvador was US$ 2,850, in Guatemala it was US$ 2,440, and in Honduras it was US$ 1,600. Almost 45 per cent of Nicaraguans live at or below the poverty line. Seventy-five per cent of the poor live on less than US$ 2 a day. Nicaragua is also a country with great disparities in wealth. Data from one study indicates that, in 2006, the wealthiest 10 per cent of the population received over 44 per cent of GDP, while the poorest 10 per cent of the population received only 0.9 per cent of GDP.

While the statistics indicate challenging socio-economic problems, Nicaragua is positioned in ways to embrace development. Like many developing countries throughout the globe, Nicaragua underperforms in the areas of economics, education, productivity, literacy and infant mortality. However, Nicaragua’s history, cultural values, and resources provide a foundation to make sustainable improvements in living standards. We acknowledge the following combination of national attributes that make our work possible:

• Land reform in the 1980s enables family farmers to work their land and benefit from their labor.
• A long history of community organizing has created the foundation for rural governance and a culture of community engagement.
• A national commitment to education reinforces a cultural value in education.
• Important natural resources including geothermal energy, water supply and agricultural land have the potential to provide for an agro-economic revival.

ViviendasLeon builds bridges internationally that create a safer, and more equitable world. Through our long-term commitment to Sutiaba, we have gained the trust needed to bring development to the region.  For more on the region where we work read our resource guide to Sutiaba, Nicaragua here.

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Our global education program is a conduit to transformative experiences in international service connecting schools, student interns and families to people in need, to places of historic and environmental beauty, and to cultures of richness and diversity.
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We’ve put together a list of books and cultural resources that you should check out if interested in traveling to Nicaragua.

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