Advisory: Civil Unrest in Nicaragua - Compassion International

Advisory: Civil Unrest in Nicaragua - April 2018

  |   Posted: April 23, 2018   |   Updated: September 25, 2018

Update #9: September 24, 2018

Overall, the situation remains mostly the same with unrest throughout the country. Protests continue in major cities throughout Nicaragua, and the national dialogue has not resumed. Despite the continued unrest, all Child Development Centers (CDCs) are holding program activities, sharing devotions, curriculum, and food with beneficiaries. The Compassion Nicaragua national office is monitoring vulnerability and child protection risks posed by the crisis. CDCs have been able to receive funds normally throughout the crisis. In total, 1,988 children have been reported as affected, with the majority having lost their family’s source of income.


Thank you for your continued prayers for our brothers and sisters in Nicaragua. Please join us in praising God that CDCs are able to serve beneficiaries despite the challenges their country is facing. The greatest need among beneficiaries and their families is livelihood support. Please continue to pray for:

  • An end to the violence
  • A peaceful resolution
  • Provision for those who have lost their source of income
  • Wisdom for national staff and CDC staff as they consider strategies to help support beneficiaries and their families
  • The safety of beneficiaries and their families throughout Nicaragua

Compassion Nicaragua will keep us updated as more information becomes available. As a reminder, if your child is affected in any way, rest assured that we will notify you as soon as possible.

Update #8: September 13, 2018

Overall, the situation remains mostly the same with unrest throughout the country. Protests continue in major cities throughout Nicaragua, and the national dialogue has not resumed. Despite the continued unrest, all Child Development Centers (CDCs) are holding program activities. They are spending 9 hours a week with beneficiaries, sharing devotions, curriculum, and food. The Compassion Nicaragua national office is monitoring vulnerability and child protection risks posed by the crisis. CDCs have been able to receive funds normally throughout the crisis. In total, 1,988 children have been reported as affected, with the majority having lost their family’s source of income.


Thank you for your continued prayers for our brothers and sisters in Nicaragua. Please join us in praising God that the CDCs are able to serve beneficiaries despite the challenges their country is facing. The greatest need among beneficiaries and their families is livelihood support. Please continue to pray for:

  • An end to the violence and for a peaceful resolution
  • Provision for those who have lost their source of income
  • Wisdom for Nicaragua national staff and CDCs as they consider strategies to help support these families
  • The safety of beneficiaries and their families throughout Nicaragua

Compassion Nicaragua will keep us updated as more information becomes available. Rest assured, if your child is affected in any way, we will notify you as soon as possible.

Update #7: August 22, 2018

There are no signs of progress in the civil unrest that has plagued Nicaragua since April. Ongoing protests and counter protests have created an atmosphere of violence and fear, particularly in major cities. The nation’s economy is steadily declining and attempts to create a productive national dialogue have been ineffective. We know that we serve a God who brings light into the darkest situations. We also know that supporters like you believe in the power of prayer. That’s why we continue to keep you updated on the ongoing crisis in Nicaragua and ask that you keep praying with us for:


  • Peaceful resolution to this situation
  • Protection over beneficiaries and their families
  • Wisdom for Child Development Centers (CDCs) who continue to minister in this environment
  • Stability for Compassion Nicaragua national staff, CDCs and beneficiaries in this area

Our staff members in Nicaragua are assessing the situation and providing support wherever possible. All CDCs are still holding program activities, with some centers in areas heavily impacted by the unrest holding limited program activities. Rest assured, if your child is affected in any way, we will notify you as soon as possible.


Update #6: August 10, 2018

Nicaragua continues to be a place of instability with increased numbers of incidents forcing most people to stay home, especially at night. Protests also continue as the National Dialogue remains suspended, and there is no date set to resume negotiations. A health march was held to honor doctors and medical personnel who have offered services to those injured during the protests. The presence of paramilitary groups, riot police, and armed civilians has increased in many cities. The demonstrations and violence continue throughout the country and the economic impact and increased inflation are becoming more evident.


Over the last four months of unrest and insecurity in Nicaragua, 189 Child Development Centers (CDCs) and 923 beneficiaries have been reported as affected. Of those affected, 883 beneficiaries and their families have lost their source of income. Rest assured, if your sponsored child is affected in any way, we will notify you as soon as possible.


The Compassion International Nicaragua national office and CDCs continue to assess impact to beneficiaries and their families. Schools are back in session, and CDCs continue to incrementally increase their contact time with beneficiaries and most are averaging between 7 and 8 hours a week, gathering to share a meal, participate in devotions, and receive curriculum.


Please pray for:

  • Protection over beneficiaries and their families as they process these events and try to make sense of what is happening in their country
  • Provision for the families who have lost their source of income as they try to figure out new ways to generate income
  • CDCs and Compassion Nicaragua national staff as they minister to and encourage children and families, while also being affected by the current situation
  • Godly wisdom among staff, CDCs, beneficiaries, and their families as they endure and respond to the events occurring in their country and continue to work amidst the chaos and uncertainty in their country
  • Peace and resolution for the issues Nicaragua is facing
  • The national dialogue to resume soon and to lead to a successful resolution
  • Mental and emotional health of beneficiaries and their families amid the chaos, insecurity, and trauma of the current situation
Update #5: July 13, 2018

The National Dialogue has been suspended, and there is no date set to resume negotiations. Tensions in Nicaragua have escalated after highly armed paramilitary groups and police in trucks dismantled barricades set up by civilians and university students. Heavy fighting also ocurred in Matiguas, an area previously visited by national staff for potential growth opportunities. Child Development Centers (CDCs) are also having difficulty procuring food. The Compassion Nicaragua national office is working to assist these CDCs and any affected beneficiaries and their families.


There have been no new reports of impact to CDCs or beneficiaries. Rest assured, if your sponsored child is affected in any way, we will notify you as soon as possible. CDCs are offering program in limited capacity as they deem it safe to do so. As they are able, they on the weekends and in the mornings because it is the calmest time of day.


Please join us in praying for:


  • Resolution and peace in Nicaragua
  • Protection over our staff, CDCs, beneficiaries, and their families, and also for God to give them peace despite the fear and uncertainty of the situation
  • Mental and emotional health of our beneficiaries in the midst of the chaos, insecurity, and trauma of the current situation
  • Guidance from the Holy Spirit and wisdom for Compassion Nicaragua’s national leadership team, as well as Compassion’s risk management team as they advise and support national staff and leadership
  • Strength and wisdom among CDC staff and volunteers as they minister to and seek to protect the children in their care
  • Provision for our beneficiaries and their families during this time of insecurity
Update #4: June 27, 2018

Unfortunately, violence continues to plague several of the nation’s cities, including Masaya, Rivas, Managua, and León. Businesses continue to be looted, and violence persists in the streets. People are also feeling insecure in their homes as theft and robbery are increasing. Sadly, more people are being injured and killed every day as tensions continue to escalate between police, protesters and the Nicaraguan Government. Rest assured, if your sponsored child is affected in any way, we will notify you as soon as possible.


There is a glimmer of hope as the National Dialogue resumed on Monday, and representatives from international organizations arrived in-country at the invitation of the government to mediate discussions. These organizations, along with representatives from all of sides of the conflict, plan to discuss potential solutions for the current crisis in Nicaragua. Please pray that these conversations will be fruitful and ultimately usher in an era of peace for Nicaragua.


Child Development Centers are holding limited program activities, but continue to serve beneficiaries in any way they can and serving food and praying with the children as a way to support them and the community. They recognize the insecurity of the overall situation and are doing what they can to mitigate the risk to beneficiaries while they are in their care, and continue to assess risk and determine program activities on a daily basis. Please pray for church partner staff and volunteers to be filled with wisdom and peace as they minister to children experiencing the fear and uncertainty of the current situation.

Update #3: June 15, 2018

The climate of uncertainty in Nicaragua continues. The protests, violent clashes, road blocks, traffic jams, and mobilizations continue in many cities and at the dams. The city of Masaya has been most affected by looting and business destruction, especially at night when there is no significant police presence. Classes at universities remain suspended nationwide.


Increased violence in Nicaraguan neighborhoods and communities has led to many Child Development Centers (CDCs) suspending normal activities. National staff are working from home because it is too dangerous to travel to the office. The Episcopal Conference announced yesterday that the President has agreed to resume the National Dialogue on Friday. It is becoming increasingly difficult for residents in Nicaragua to obtain food and fuel due to blockades and security issues, which is also affecting CDCs. On a daily basis, people are being injured and killed in violent clashes across the country.


It is a challenge for some church partner staff and beneficiaries to access CDC facilities. National leadership staff continues to meet with project directors, often via video chat if they are unable to meet face-to-face. The Compassion Nicaragua national office staff have held meetings with the pastors and project directors in the 4 clusters of Managua, Tipitapa, Masaya, and Rivas.


Please pray for:


  • Reconciliation and stability in the country of Nicaragua
  • Protection, renewed hope, comfort, and peace for beneficiaries and their families
  • Safety and peace for CDC staff, national staff, as well as regional staff in the area and all of their families
  • That Compassion's National Leadership Team in Nicaragua would have wisdom, clarity, and direction as they make decisions for the well-being of staff and beneficiaries

Please remember that we will reach out to you if your sponsored child is affected in any way. Compassion Nicaragua will keep us updated as more information becomes available.

Disaster Reopened Alert: June 6, 2018

After initial reports of civil unrest and the climate initially improving, violent protests between citizens and police continue to occur. The protests initially began in April following President Daniel Ortega’s proposed reforms to the nation’s social security program and continued as citizens called for the president’s resignation. The demonstrations have resulted in deadly clashes between police and citizens on multiple occasions. With both sides unable to reach an agreement on ways to move the conversation forward, tensions remain high. Businesses are being looted and destroyed overnight, and there is a strong feeling of insecurity among the people in areas with concentrated violence.


Compassion staff in Nicaragua continue to monitor the situation and provide assistance to children, families and our church partners to help keep them safe. At this time, the majority of Compassion church partners are still holding normal activities. In areas where violent protests are more prevalent, some partners are holding limited activities to ensure the safety of the children. Please remember that we will reach out to you if your sponsored child is affected in any way.


Because we believe in the power of prayer, we again ask you to pray for the children of Nicaragua. Please pray for:


  • The relationship between the people of Nicaragua and their government leaders.
  • Safety for children in areas where the unrest has become violent.
  • God’s comfort for families who lost loved ones as a result of the violent protests.

Thank you for your continued prayers and your heart for children in poverty.

Disaster Final Report: May 7, 2018

As of May 2, all Child Development Centers (CDCs) in Nicaragua have resumed normal activities. There is still a sense of uncertainty among residents in Nicaragua, but the situation has been calm for the last week. The Compassion International Nicaragua national office continues to monitor the situation. Thank you for your prayers over this situation. Please continue to pray for peace throughout Nicaragua.

Disaster Update #2: April 26, 2018

Churches are stocked with provisions to support beneficiaries. Those who are not hosting normal activities right now are receiving beneficiaries for a small devotional and snack. Please continue praying for peace in Nicaragua and that all churches will be able to safely resume full program activities soon.

Disaster Update #1: April 24, 2018

Yesterday, the Nicaraguan government officially suspended classes due to conflicts surrounding new social security reform. Additional Child Development Centers (CDCs) have temporarily stopped activities due to the government’s announcement. Please pray for peace and continued safety among our staff, churches and beneficiaries.

Disaster Alert: April 23, 2018

Last week, government leaders in Nicaragua announced a reform package to their Social Security system in response to concerns over potential bankruptcy. Clashes between protesters, riot police and a group known as the Sandanista Youth became violent throughout the week, leading to several deaths. Classes were suspended and many Child Development Centers (CDCs) have temporarily stopped or limited program activities. For their safety, Compassion International Nicaragua country office staff are currently working from home in limited capacity. No impact details are available at this time. Please pray for the safety of our staff, church partners, and beneficiaries in Nicaragua, as well as for peaceful resolution.