Since independence in 1821, Nicaragua’s people have lived through a series of civil wars, several US interventions, and a period of local dictatorship which was confronted by the national hero Sandino. However, in the years since, the continued presence of the US has held back democratic development and polarised the population, increasing dependency and reducing the social achievements of the Sandinista revolution of the 1980s.
The last two decades have been characterised by increasing social and political intolerance and serious impacts of climate change. The Sandinistas came back to power in 2006 with a different approach and in the framework of neo-liberalism.
Through all this, Nicaragua has remained one of the poorest countries in the western hemisphere – and the poorest Spanish-speaking country in the world. Most people here live on around $3 a day. That’s why our work to safeguard the environment and promote sustainable agriculture has focused on helping people grow the food they need and make a living off the land.
Getting people involved, working together with them and helping them find a voice after years of being voiceless, has also been really important. We work with local community groups to influence national policy development and the economy. At the same time we work with local people on the issues that affect their day-to-day lives, like raising awareness of HIV, and promoting choices and increasing opportunities for women and young people.
Map of Nicaragua
View Nicaragua in a larger map