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Rains in Nicaragua – washing away people’s homes and lives

June 9, 2009

1408785662_87deb1c16eMay marks the beginning of the rainy season in Nicaragua, bringing heavy rains that rarely let up until the season ends in October. Rain can fall every day for weeks or months at a time, causing flooding that destroys homes and crops, washes out roads and bridges, cuts off villages, and compromises fragile food security in some areas.

Along with torrential rainfall, the situation can get even worse during hurricane season. In the last ten years this country that straddles the Caribbean and Pacific Ocean has been hit by three hurricanes and 25 tropical storms. The most recent hurricane, Felix, left 220,000 people homeless in 2007.

As in most natural disasters, the poor are the hardest hit. Along with losing their homes they can also easily lose their means of making a living, especially if they are self-employed, selling food they grow or products they make. U.N. resident representative Alfredo Missair warns that the vulnerability of people in the areas hit hardest by the natural disasters would increase the already wide gap between rich and poor, according to Inter Press Service.

“When it is raining a lot almost all the families in the barrio suffer,” according to Anielka Gutierrez, Nicaragua Program Director at Empowerment International. She works with the students and their families and sees firsthand how the storms affect them.

For many of EI’s kids, dealing with flooding during these seasons is a way of life. Even after the waters recede, already vulnerable families have to rebuild their houses and lives from scratch. In the barrio where EI works, houses are made from scrap materials or black plastic, usually with dirt floors. There is no escape from the rain, which can easily turn the floors into mud or destroy the fragile structures completely.

With every new rainy season that comes along, not only are the families’ livelihoods threatened, but the children also have more obstacles to getting to school every day. Even if roads are passable they can turn completely to mud, making it harder and more dangerous than usual to get there and back.

Which is why we need an organization like Empowerment International. EI helps make school and education a priority for these children and their families. It provides the support for the kids to get to school every day, and reminds them through tough times the value of education. EI gives them hope for improving their lives, so that maybe one day they’ll live in a house that can better withstand the rains.

– Francesca Dalleo

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In Nicaragua 50% of the kids that start 1st grade never finish  5th grade. It is our goal to make this percentage drop significantly.

$30/month is what it takes us at Empowerment International to put a child in school. If you would like to help a child stay in school and get better life, please click on the link below or contact us

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One Comment leave one →
  1. April 10, 2010 4:15 am

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