Many Nicaraguans are caught in a cycle of despair and grinding poverty. Austin Samaritans assists missions and nonprofit organizations that promote self-worth, offer practical solutions, and most importantly, provide hope.
Until recently 285 families actually lived in La Chureca, the Managua city dump. With few opportunities to earn a living, family members, including children, scavenged the garbage day after day, looking for materials to sell or use for themselves. Lacking resources to purchase food, families sometimes scavenged food from the dump leading to illness and malnutrition. Often, families traded or even sold their daughters into sexual slavery to gain access to better trash – to earn enough to survive another day.
As a result of a collaborative effort by the City of Managua and the Spanish Agency of International Cooperation for Development, many of these people now have new homes, and a number have an opportunity to work at the new recycling plant that has replaced the dump. However, many of the cultural, educational, and economic problems that produced La Chureca still exist.
All too often, women in Nicaragua are caught in the web of prostitution. The women frequently have limited education and resources. If abandoned by their husband or partner, they turn to prostitution as their only alternative for providing food for their children and themselves. These women have many needs, including an alternative way to earn a living, a secure place to live with their children, and reassurance of their worth as human beings.
Elderly men and women, their families no longer able to care for them, end up sleeping on the streets. They need housing and loving care at the end of their lives.
Malnutrition of children, especially of infants and toddlers, is a widespread problem in Nicaragua. Malnutrition can occur because families do not have the money to provide an adequate diet; because the family does not know how to provide an adequate diet using the resources it has; or, in some tragic cases, because the child has been abandoned by their family.
Austin Samaritans supports several missions striving to break the cycle of degradation and despair and offer a new life worthy of these children of God. Your generosity is bringing hope and renewed spirit to those most in need.
For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.