COVID-19 and Compassion’s Work in Nicaragua

An in-depth look at the coronavirus pandemic in Nicaragua

Last Updated: 04/12/2021

Nicaragua is experiencing a huge increase in hunger due to economic losses caused by the pandemic and 2020 hurricanes. More than 85% of rural families do not have enough food, according to a survey by several nongovernmental organizations. Years of drought have destroyed crops and forced people into debt in order to survive. Thousands urgently need immediate assistance. Coronavirus cases are low in Nicaragua; the country reported an average of five new infections daily in the week before April 6. Since the pandemic began, there have been reports of 5,326 infections and 177 related deaths. A vaccine campaign started in early March, giving priority to those with pre-existing conditions.

Many Nicaraguan child development centers are planning or have begun a phased reopening. Staff members from many centers continue to make home visits and provide virtual programing for children and families. Since the pandemic began, staff members have distributed almost 238,000 food packs and nearly 123,000 hygiene kits and provided over 7,600 individuals with medical support.

COVID response in Nicaragua

A Message From National Staff

How Is Compassion Currently Operating in Nicaragua?

Below, you will find the latest information on how Compassion is currently operating in Nicaragua, including status updates on center openings, letter delivery and gift delivery. This is the most current information we have, though it can change quickly. Please know that all children and their families are being checked in on regularly by staff, either in person or by phone, even if the Compassion center is not open for programming.

Are Compassion Centers Open?

Many Nicaraguan child development centers are planning or have begun a phased reopening. Staff members continue to call and visit families and children. Because of the generous support of sponsors and donors, they have been able to distribute almost 238,000 food packs and nearly 123,000 hygiene kits to children and their families!

COVID response in Nicaragua

child reading IconStory From the Field

When Diana was 15 years old, she started feeling tired and feverish. She had constant headaches and a rash on her skin that stubbornly resisted any antibiotics. As the weeks went by and the hospital visits became more frequent, her mother, Sandra, grew worried as her daughter still didn't improve.

“For two months, everything she ate would make her sick. She started losing weight, and the rash continued to spread,” says Sandra. “Then, one of the doctors in the hospital decided to run extra tests for her. A week later he told us it was lupus.”

Lupus is a long-term disease in which the immune system, which fights infections, starts attacking healthy tissue. As a result, it causes inflammation in different parts of the body, most commonly in the skin, joints and internal organs such as the kidneys and heart.

Compassion's church partner stepped in to provide Diana and her mother with the financial support they needed for her to receive her treatments and medication. Over several years, her health finally began to improve.

Then COVID-19 hit. During the pandemic, her family's already fragile financial situation took a blow when the social distancing measures impacted her mother's small business sales. As an immuno-compromised person, it was too risky for Diana to attend school, and she had to stay at home. Diana grew increasingly lonely, isolated and depressed.

Staff from her center had been in constant contact with Diana and Sandra, and they reminded the family continually that they were not alone.

“They have never stopped helping us. They call us to make sure we’re okay. They have provided us with food packages after the pandemic started, and they have never stopped praying for us,” says Sandra.

For Diana, these months of isolation have been months full of introspection. Now, she has a new perspective of life, along with renewed strength and hopes. At home, she has developed into a more confident young woman, no longer discouraged by her illness.

I want to be able to stand on my own two feet. I want to do what other people do, too. I know I can do it, and despite not being able to run, I know my imagination can take me farther than I could ever imagine,” says Diana, “and I trust that the Lord will be with me throughout it all.”

How can I pray for Nicaragua?

Pray that God would help to restore Nicaragua after the devastation left behind by drought and hurricanes and that he would provide ample food for the hungry. For more prayer resources, visit Compassion’s COVID-19 prayer page for prayer guides and a virtual prayer wall.

How Can I Help?

Sponsor a Child in Nicaragua
Give to Compassion’s COVID-19 Relief Fund
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