Nicaragua is known to many as the “Land of lakes and volcanoes” and the “New Costa Rica” because of its gorgeous green landscape, virgin beaches and burgeoning tourist industry. However, the crippling effects of long-term colonialism, a checkered past with hurtful U.S foreign policies, years of internal chaos and civil war, and natural disasters in the last 45 years have thrust Nicaragua into a semi-permanent state of poverty making it year after year, the second poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.
Nicaragua’s unemployment/underemployment is over 50% with people earning less than $10/day. Three out of 10 children living in poverty will finish elementary school and less than 1 out of those 3 will finish high school. This is due to in part to children needing to stay home to care for younger siblings or their house while parents are gone and/or because of lack of ability to pay for the basics of public school (uniforms, notebooks and supplies. Upwards of 70% of the population is under 30. Alcoholism, domestic violence, teen pregnancy and lack of good healthcare are serious contributors to the debilitating poverty Nicaraguans face.
In the midst of this, God’s spirit has been strongly moving here for a long time in this context of significant suffering. In recent years, God led Servant Partners to establish a new work in Managua, specifically in a barrio called Anexo Buenos Aires. As of the Spring 2015, we have a team of staff living and serving in the community. Our team is a close community that works alongside Nicaraguans who have a vision to see their community be holistically transformed for the sake of God’s Kingdom.
We seek to grow and establish a Nicaraguan-led church which works toward Servant Partner’s 9 signs of community transformation. Currently, we have integrated ministries in tutoring children, men and women’s groups meeting for inner healing, bible study, discussion about issues families face, and a weekly soccer program with youth that includes devotionals and mentoring of some of the boys. We are also working to establish improved health care in our barrio by hosting medical clinics and providing health education classes to empower Nicaraguans to greater health.
We are available to talk and interview anyone who might be interested to work short-term or long-term in Nicaragua. We are looking for interns who have a deep desire to follow Jesus, be in Christian community and to learn Spanish. Interns will need to be flexible, willing to cross cultural, economic and social barriers to develop relationships and live among the poor. While there are many ways to minister among our team we are praying for some interns that have a specific passion to work in the areas of health, education, youth and sports, especially soccer, baseball, and basketball.