Population: 6.2 Million | CAPITAL: MANAGUA

In the heart of Central America lies a beautiful land of untouched rainforests, pristine crater lakes and rugged volcanoes. Nicaragua is a country of contrasts, known throughout the region for its diverse cultural history, vibrant art, and grand literature. Visitors find themselves welcomed by a passionate people living at their own pace, where age-old traditions combine with deep faith for a strong, authentic character.

Nicaragua’s vast potential springs from a past as varied and dramatic as its landscape. A long history of political turmoil, violence and natural disasters has slowed development. The country is now the second poorest in the Western Hemisphere, with 76% of the population living on less than $2.00 a day. This environment is an opportunity for successful and sustainable development through long-term, holistic service.


COMMUNITY MEMBERS directly benefited


Local average
Daily Income 


Hours served by volunteers last year 

The Need

  • Teenage pregnancies account for 1 in 4 births
  • 75% never completed elementary school
  • 43% live on less than $1.00 a day
  • 100% of children need treatment for parasites
  • 15% of children ages 5-14 involved in child labor
  • 1 in 3 children suffers from chronic malnutrition
  • 21% of children drop out in the first grade
  • 52% of women have experienced domestic violence
  • 53% of girls do not attend secondary school
  • 9.2 hospital beds for every 10,000 people
  • 96% do not have access to preventive health care
  • The public education and health systems did not begin until the 1980’s

Our Response

  • Adolescent Health Education
  • Cedro Galán Health Clinic
  • 1,000 Days of Difference
  • Community Health Promotion
  • Creative Arts
  • English
    • Beginners
    • Intermediate
    • Advanced
  • English Vocational Training
  • Lacrosse the Nations
  • Public School English
  • Villa Guadalupe Health Clinic

Learn More →

The Communities

Cedro Galan

Cedro galán & Chiquilistagua

Population: 15,000

For more than ten years, Manna Project has been a constant presence in the neighboring, semi-rural communities of Cedro Galán and Chiquilistagua. Families live in open-air homes with dirt floors, and imported cars share the road with ox-drawn carts. These communities, located on the outskirts of Nicaragua’s capital city, Managua, have extremely limited access to even the most basic services. Opportunities for advancement are rare. While few ever leave, families are strong and committed to finding a better future for their children and grandchildren.

Villa Guadalupe

Population: 4,800

 For many years, Manna Project served families living in La Chureca, Central America’s largest municipal trash dump. Incredibly, the dump was home to more than 1,000 people who survived by sorting and selling trash. When the Nicaraguan government closed the dump and relocated these families to Villa Guadalupe, along with 3,700 people who were left homeless by flooding in 2010, we moved with them. The community faces unemployment, constant food insecurity and malnutrition. In the absence of outside resources, motivated leaders are emerging, and neighbors give what they can to support one another. 

Nicaragua Programs

Nicaragua Team

2017-2018 Volunteers