Political unrest, isolation and natural disasters have hindered development in rural Nicaragua, resulting in chronic poverty, hunger and a lack of public infrastructure.  Approximately one-third of the country’s rural population lacks access to clean water, and two thirds lack adequate sanitation facilities.

In partnership with two local organizations, Episcopal Relief & Development is empowering communities to improve food supply and prevent waterborne disease. 

Together with the Council of Protestant Churches of Nicaragua (CEPAD), we work with local farmers to increase the diversity of their crops and produce natural fertilizers and pesticides that protect the land and water from pollution. Planting trees and constructing land ridges and ditches improves soil quality and reduces erosion, and constructing micro-dams to harvest rainwater enables production during dry seasons. Participants share their knowledge with others and promote sustainable practices by using their land to demonstrate the success of the new techniques. The program empowers women to nourish their families through planting small kitchen gardens with a variety of vegetables and produce, and a group of plantain farmers is expanding their operation through business training and micro-finance loans.

We also work through our partner El Porvenir to increase access to clean water and reduce waterborne disease. Communities organize water committees and engage residents in constructing and maintaining water systems, with materials and training as needed from El Porvenir. Wells, latrines and handwashing stations are installed at schools and residential areas, with health and hygiene education to promote their use. Digging wells near clusters of homes prevents disease and saves time, effort and risk for women and girls, who are most often responsible for fetching water. El Porvenir also works with communities to plant trees to protect natural watersheds and improve the environment.

Alleviating Hunger and Improving Food Supply

  • Exploring climate-smart strategies to improve crop production and diversity
  • Improving the land through reforestation and conservation
  • Increasing access to nutritious food through small-scale farming
  • Supporting farmer cooperatives to improve agricultural practices and access to markets

Creating Economic Opportunities and Strengthening Communities

  • Empowering entrepreneurs through micro-finance services, financial literacy and business training
  • Emphasizing gender awareness and equitable access and participation for successful development

Promoting Health and Fighting Disease

  • Building and improving systems to harvest, store, transport and protect clean water
  • Increasing access and use of clean water, sanitary latrines and hygiene practices
  • Reducing preventable diseases to increase child survival

Nicaragua Press Releases & Stories

Episcopal Relief Debuts A New Video Expandiendo Una Cultura Resiliente En NicaraguaNovember Web Feature Highlights Partners in NicaraguaJune Web Series Feature Partners in Nicaragua and Friends in California

Fast Facts

Almost half of Nicaragua's work force is underemployed, and 30% of the population lives below the poverty line.

30% of the rural population lacks access to clean water, and 45% have no sanitary latrine, making waterborne disease a challenge for many.

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
Goal 1: No Poverty

Goal 1: No Poverty End poverty in all its forms everywhere  Learn more»

Goal 2: Zero Hunger

554be761359bb2c17e80f64e0f1fbdcdEnd hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture  Learn more »

Goal 3: Good Health and Well-Being

Goal 3: Good Health and Well-BeingEnsure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages  Learn more»

Goal 6: Clean Water and Sanitation

Goal 6: Clean Water and SanitationEnsure access to water and sanitation for all Learn more »

Goal 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth

Goal 8: Decent Work and Economic GrowthPromote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all  Learn more »

Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities

Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and CommunitiesMake cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable  Learn more »

Goal 13: Climate Action

Goal 13: Climate ActionTake urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts  Learn more »

Goal 15: Life on Land

Goal 15: Life on LandSustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation, halt biodiversity loss  Learn more »

Resources & Learning

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Resources & Learning