In Nicaragua, ICCO promotes opportunities for youth and women by supporting educational initiatives; it economically empowers young people in areas vulnerable to violence and strengthens technical abilities of small farmers in order to improve their access to inclusive markets.
Villa Fontana Sur, del Club Terraza, 2c al Oeste,
2c. al Sur, 75 vrs. al Oeste. #150.
Nicaragua is located at the middle of Central America and it’s the largest country of the Isthmus. It borders with Costa Rica (South) and Honduras (North). Mestizos of mixed Indigenous, Spanish and African blood make up the majority of its population, but, in the northern and southern Caribbean regions, there is a strong presence of indigenous groups and afro descendent creoles.
Nicaragua’s history has been marked by foreign military interventions, civil wars, dictatorships and natural disasters. One of the most notorious episodes in Nicaragua’s political history is the Sandinista revolution, an uprising that overthrew the Somoza family dynasty, a military dictatorship that held control of the government for almost 50 years. After its initial period, the new revolutionary regime faced opposition and a counterrevolutionary movement was formed. Both sides led a bloody civil war that ended in 1990 and left over 150,000 victims.
Nicaragua is the poorest country in Central America and the second poorest in the western hemisphere. In recent decades, however, official reports show a reduction in extreme poverty and an overall economic growth (4.6% in 2013). A recent highlight of the Nicaraguan context is that its crime rates are considerably lower than those of other Central American nations. However, it faces enormous challenges: unemployment (46.5% in 2008), inequality, fragile institutions and reduction of operational space for civil society.
Because Nicaragua is the second poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, ICCO´s work in this nation is mainly focused on economic empowerment. One of ICCO´s star programs, Building Protection by Empowering People, supports young men and women so that they can be trained on how to start their own businesses and on how to become more competitive for the labor market. ICCO also works closely with small farmers cooperatives by paving the way for their access to inclusive markets. In Nicaragua, ICCO has also developed an innovative line of work with the private sector, promoting knowledge and building capacities on Business and Human Rights, in order to engage private companies more actively in the nation´s quest for sustainable development.