Last Updated: 03/23/2021 

Nicaragua is experiencing a huge increase in hunger due to economic losses caused by the pandemic and 2020 hurricanes. More than 85% of rural families do not have enough food, according to a survey by several nongovernmental organisations. Years of drought, followed by hurricanes and flooding last fall, have destroyed crops and forced people into debt in order to survive. Many urgently need immediate assistance. Nicaragua reported 2,090 active cases of COVID-19 on March 4. There have been 174 COVID-related deaths there since the beginning of the pandemic. The country began a vaccination program on March 2. 

Many Nicaraguan child development centers are planning or have begun a phased reopening. Staff members from many centers continue to make home visits and provide virtual programming for children and families. Since the pandemic began, staff members have distributed over 223,000 food packs and 109,000 hygiene kits and provided over 6,800 individuals with medical support. 

How is Compassion Currently Operating in Nicaragua?

Below, you will find the latest information on how Compassion is currently operating in Nicaragua, including status updates on center openings, letter delivery and gift delivery. This is the most current information we have, though it can change quickly. Please know that all children and their families are being checked in on regularly by staff, either in person or by phone, even if the Compassion center is not open for programming.

Are Compassion Centers Open?

Many Nicaraguan child development centers are planning or have begun a phased reopening. Staff members continue to call and visit families and children. Because of the generous support of sponsors and donors, they have been able to distribute about 223,000 food packs and 109,000 hygiene kits to children and their families!

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 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. 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 be notified whether a gift has been designated as a child gift or family gift. The caregiver will decide the best use of the money, recognizing that sometimes purchasing food or paying rent is in the best interest of a child.

Story From the Field

In Nicaragua, the COVID-19 pandemic struck a struggling country still reeling from the socio-political crisis of 2018. The result has been severe unemployment, especially in rural communities. Parents strain to provide for their children’s most basic needs, especially nutritious food. Malnutrition is on the rise.

During this dark time, Compassion's church partners in Nicaragua are extending a helping hand to children and their families, improving their health and helping them find hope.

With the aid of a nutritionist, child development centers prepare food packages designed to combat malnutrition, filled with dairy products, eggs, beans, rice, fruits, vegetables, carbohydrates and proteins.

Five-year-old Marlene’s family has been blessed by the food packages during a time when her father, Arnoldo, has been unable to find employment and the means to provide her with nutritious food.

“We are endlessly grateful for the assistance they have provided us with the food parcels,” says Arnoldo. “Every day, I see how committed the center staff is to maintaining their kids’ health and showing the families that they are there to support them. Every day, even now during this pandemic, we feel their love.”

How can I pray for Nicaragua?

Pray for church partners as they work to clean, sanitize and, in some cases, construct additional classrooms to ensure that children are safe and stay healthy when they return.

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