Stories

Nicaragua is one of the poorest countries in Latin America. Jinotega, being a mountainous region, is isolated from resources. The land is lush and tropical, and farmers have grown crops for years in the fertile fields. However, with limited infrastructure, increasing populations, and stagnant land available, families struggle to meet their family’s nutrition and health care needs. Some 46% of these children suffer from malnutrition which accounts for 54% of all deaths of children under the age of 5. Agriculture, the most common form of employment in Jinotega, is also the lowest paying, causing families to live in extreme poverty. With development, water sources in the region have also become increasingly polluted with silt, sewage, and bacteria. Advance has been working in Nicaragua with our partner, Association of Volunteers for Community Development (AVODEC), since 2001. In this Central American nation, an area ravaged by civil war some 20 years ago, we work to improve the health of Nicaraguan families through a wide variety of public health programs, including water filtration systems, community gardens, improved housing, latrines, wells, micro-loans, and health education. Our work is accomplished through a community network made up of hundreds of volunteers from surrounding villages, who identify families in need and collectively work together to address those needs. Volunteers also help to build healthier communities by providing health education and training to their own villages. In 2019, due to an increasingly violent political climate, Advance launched our medical brigade program, sending one team per week to different Nicaraguan communities, offering free primary, dental, and pediatric care. Our programs include:
  • Providing life-changing primary, dental, and pediatric care to rural communities through medical brigades
  • Training midwives, who deliver an average of two babies per week, and helping to decrease the high levels of maternal mortality in the most remote communities
  • Providing a clean water source through wells and water systems which prevent deadly water-borne diseases.
  • Teaching small farmers about improved agricultural practices and providing families with seeds and small livestock that will help improve their nutrition and generate a higher income
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Spring Cleaning: The Fridge

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