It’s currently the end of the rainy season in Nicaragua, which means the land is at its greenest right now. As soon as you exit the airport, your met with warm air and even warmer smiles. But as beautiful as the country and its people are, it’s not hard to see the poverty that exists all throughout it. Nicaragua still faces some very significant government issues, a poor and corrupt judicial system, and legal issues regarding property ownership.  ”The need in Nicaragua is great and the problem is even greater, we have a long way to go.” Frank Matus, Habitat for Humanity, Nicaragua, Country Directory.
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During a presentation by Jose Quinonez, from Habitat For Humanity International, we learned there are 1.6 billion people in the world living in absolute poverty, and if we were to build one home at a time, non-stop, it would take 5,536 years to meet the need. Having a decent roof, concrete floors and walls makes a world of difference to people who would otherwise be living in structures made of rotting wood and metal scraps. Our first site visit was to an informal settlement near Managua. It was here I met a mother and daughter named Siada and Olga who have been living in their home for about a year now. Before receiving a home through Habitat Nicaragua, they were living in a bedroom with five other adults and a cruel landlord. Their dream was to get out and own their own home one day.
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We were also there building for a couple families, this first was for Eugenia. She lives with her daughter, and two grandchildren, Vanessa and Enoc. She told me she never feels safe leaving her kids home alone, and now with her new home, she’ll be much happier knowing her family is safe and secure. Eugenia wasn’t shy to pick up a shovel and help us dig the trench either, she’s a very strong, hard-working woman and I’m happy to have met her. 
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Then there was a home for Juan Carlo’s family. He lives with his wife Patricia, their daughter Nasleen, and his mother. Their home consisted of two beds, a stove and dirt floors, and water would run through their home every time it rained. Two hours into digging the trench for their new home, I couldn’t feel my arms anymore. But watching little Nasleen play and dance kept me going. Juan Carlos, his brother-in-law, and a few other family members where there digging alongside us too. His mother, too old to help, made sure to watch so she felt like part of the process too.
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This was my third time to Nicaragua, and each one has always been life-changing. I can’t wait until we can start bringing our members to the field so they can experience it for themselves and see firsthand the impact their contributions are making. We’re so grateful to have a building partner like Habitat for Humanity, Nicaragua who are committed to providing people with safe, decent homes to live in. And more so than homes, our partnership with Habitat for Humanity will provide people with hope, and that is extremely important to the future of Nicaragua. For more photos from this trip, please visit us on Facebook
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