Plentiful natural resources make Nicaragua a potentially wealthy country, but many years of political turmoil and natural disasters such as Hurricane Mitch have had a lasting effect. Dictatorships in the 19th and 20th Centuries were replaced by the leftist Sandinista regime in the 1980s. Governments since have struggled to make progress among the many challenges. Nicaragua rates as the second poorest country in Latin America. It is principally an agricultural economy producing cotton, coffee, sugar cane, bananas, maize and sesame. Livestock farming, fishing and mining also play a part.
Nicaragua is the largest Central American republic but has a relatively low population, particularly on the eastern side of the country towards the Caribbean coast, which has a wetter climate. The mountainous central belt is colder and humid. Hurricane Mitch in 1998 was a traumatic event for Nicaragua when 9000 people died and over 2 million were left homeless, casting a shadow over future development due to the risk of further natural disasters.
Nicaragua is Spanish speaking with a number of Amerindian minorities and an English speaking community mainly on the Caribbean coast.
Culturally Nicaragua is Catholic with diverse protestant denominations reaching some 20% of the population.
The team work in community development, job creation and discipleship around Managua.
There are urgent basic needs such as clean water, electricity and balanced nutrition; hygiene and school education are rarely guaranteed, and opportunities for ground level social action employment training.
Various church based opportunities in training are possible, including through Theological Education by Extension, as are placements with a student outreach and discipleship focus in Nicaraguan universities.