48.4% of students complete grade 6

22% of adults are illiterate

30:1 is the student to teacher ratio across primary schools

Find out more educational information from: World BankCIA World FactbookUNICEF


Known as the land of lakes and volcanoes, Nicaragua is the second poorest country in Latin America. Although rich in culture and natural resources, nearly half the adult population is unemployed.

Decades of civil wars, natural disasters and corrupt governments have made it difficult for many to break the destructive cycle of inherited poverty.

For a large percentage of the population, access to potable water, sanitation and primary health care is limited. A quality education is beyond the means of most families.

Poverty has a particularly cruel impact on children in Nicaragua. When families don’t have money for schooling, another generation gets trapped in the cycle of poverty.

Even with both parents working, many families are forced to live in cramped quarters or with relatives. We often see a family of seven or more living in a one-room house made of scrap metals, plywood and other materials.

Families often lack access to basic services like health care and education.

With the growing economy there are now, for the first time, opportunities for low-income people to move forward – but even in Paraguay a quality secondary education and vocational training is a must for anybody who wants to find stable employment.


While elementary school is provided by the government, many children are not able to attend because their families need them to bring in extra income, there are no schools in their area or the cost of uniforms, textbooks and supplies is simply too much.

Compared to other Central American countries, Nicaragua has the lowest primary school enrollment rate and the highest primary school dropout rate. It also has the highest percentage of primary school aged children who are not in school at all.

In the communities where we work, single mothers head many of the families. They work tirelessly as street vendors selling food, candy or used clothing on the side of the road. Because of their low income, it’s difficult to provide food, clothing and medical care – much less a good education.

Our Work in Nicaragua

Martin Luther King School

Location: El Canyon
Grades: Pre-school – Grade 11
Students: 320

Sendero de Luz School

Location: Ciudad Sandino
Grades: Pre-school – Grade 12
Students: 240

Bethel School

Location: San Benito
Grades: Pre-school - Grade 2
Students: 60

Jesus El Buen Pastor School

Location: Granada
Grades: Pre-school – Grade 6
Students: 230

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