Facts About Our Work in Nicaragua
Food For The Poor (FFTP) has been working in Nicaragua since 1998, partnering with the American Nicaraguan Foundation (ANF). In March 2020, Food For The Poor responded quickly when COVID-19, a respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus, became a pandemic. The charity immediately shipped four tractor-trailer loads of food to Nicaragua. FFTP also sent funds to ANF for the purchase of emergency aid baskets that included beans, rice, corn or corn flour, fortified cereal, sugar, cooking oil, soap, chlorine and an educational pamphlet on COVID-19 preventive measures.
- ANF has steadily worked to deliver the food baskets to vulnerable families throughout the country. These baskets were assembled at ANF’s warehouse and other facilities throughout Nicaragua and were delivered monthly for three months to 9,330 families through local partners.
- Each family who received a basket was shown proper hand-washing to prevent contracting the coronavirus.
- ANF’s four program managers also are working on ways to respond to the pandemic via small projects, which include food aid, water filters, agriculture to secure livelihoods and a steady family diet.
- By the end of December 2020, there were more than 6,000 coronavirus cases, according worldometers.info.
On Nov. 3, 2020, Hurricane Eta made landfall as a powerful Category 4 hurricane just south of Puerto Cabezas, on Nicaragua’s northern Caribbean side of the country. Less than two weeks later, on Nov. 16, near the town of Haulover some 30 miles south of Puerto Cabezas, Hurricane Iota made landfall as a strong Category 4. These storms claimed more than two dozen lives in the Central American Country, according to published reports, and caused hundreds of millions of dollars in damage.
- In addition to losing their livelihoods and income, farmers in Nicaragua also lost their main source of food to feed their families.
- Fall is typically the rainy season in Central America when many farmers plant their crops. In Nicaragua, there are three planting cycles per year, with the last one being disrupted by the hurricanes.
- Before the hurricanes, FFTP worked with in-country partner American Nicaraguan Foundation (ANF) to help bean farmers increase their yields and income, and to guarantee the purchase of their products at a higher price. Through FFTP's From Seeds to Smiles project, each farmer donated a 100-pound sack of beans back to ANF, which in turn distributed them through the organization’s feeding programs. This fed about 40,000, including 31,000 children under the age of 12. But the hurricanes wiped out the bean crops.
- In Nicaragua, the charity’s donors are assisting farmers in Estelí, Nueva Segovia and Madriz who lost all or most of their crops due to landslides and flooding. One project is providing seeds, tools and products such as fertilizers and insecticides to 200 bean farmers in addition to training and technical assistance. Up to 1,000 people are expected to benefit from the nearly 500 acres of beans that will be planted. Families are grateful they were able to plant again after losing 80 percent of their beans due to the hurricanes.
The charity has nearly 50 active projects in Nicaragua. Community development projects have proved successful, providing different components such as housing, water, furniture, gardens, community centers, tools and medical clinics.
In 2020, FFTP donors built 358 homes, for a total of 15,005 homes since inception.
In 2020, FFTP donors built, repaired or expanded five schools.
The Central American country has 48 water projects to supply water through filtration and other distribution systems, including the Somoto gravity-fed water system. Somoto is located in the hills of northern Nicaragua, and the gravity-fed water system provides drinking water to 81 families.
FFTP works with 18 children’s home as part of the Angels Of Hope program. Through the program, 288 orphaned and abandoned children receive shelter and an education.
At an Agricultural Training Center in Tipitapa local farmers are being trained in the technical aspects of farming and are learning proper administration of profits for the sustainability of their projects. They’re producing cucumbers, papayas, guavas, tomatoes, and other agricultural products as a result of the alliance with FFTP and ANF.
- Apiculture has been another focus for impoverished Nicaraguans. Through beekeeping and honey production, groups of youths and adults are working together to sell honey and the byproducts such as: pollen, propolis (bee glue), beeswax for beauty products. Beeswax also is sold to other beekeepers around the country as well as queen bees, etc. Local bee farmers also are working on beekeeping projects in the Agriculture Training Center, ANF and Sweet Progress.
- Greater Impact Agricultural Development has been a very successful project. It has helped nearly 30,000 people with the planting of bean seeds, bean grain, papaya farms and construction of greenhouses. FFTP has converted individual farmers into Certified Bean Seed producers, authorized and supervised by the Ministry of Agriculture. This has helped to create better crops and profits. Nearly 80,000 participants are benefiting from these projects
The population is approximately 6.2 million residents. The language is Spanish, and Catholicism is the largest religion. The currency is the córdoba and the GDP per capita is $5,407.