by David Werner

In November and December of 1991, Martín Reyes (from Projects Piaxtla and PROJIMO) and I went to Nicaragua to take part in three separate but connected events:

  1. a large regional workshop on Child-to-Child activities,

  2. a meeting of the Regional Committee for the Promotion of Community-based Health Care in Central America and Mexico, and

  3. an international discussion group on Health Care in Societies in Transition.

While in Nicaragua, Martín and I also had a chance to visit a range of community initiatives. These included a neighborhood-run health program, a grassroots women’s organization, a family-run program for disabled children called Los Pipitos, two government centers for abandoned, abuse and disabled children, and programs serving the mushrooming population of street children.

Overall, we were impressed by the efforts of the Nicaraguan people to make the best of an extremely difficult situation. But we were distressed by the deterioration of living standards and public services that has resulted since the change in government in April 1990.

In the second article in this newsletter I will try to dive a tentative description of the current situation m Nicaragua, based on our observations. But first I would like to tell you about the Child-to-Child workshop, for it was an uplifting and heartwarming event.