Nicaragua is a developing country in Central America with a population of just under 6 million. According to Forbes Nicaragua is the poorest country in Central America and the second poorest country in the Western Hemisphere (Forbes, 2014). This poverty stems from underemployments and extends to roughly 45% of the population (Forbes,2014). As a result many communities, especially in rural areas, are underserved. It has been reported that only 29% of children in Nicaragua complete primary school (Manna Project, 2015). Due to this lack of education few have the knowledge and skills necessary to lead Nicaragua out of this poverty stricken state.
All of the above circumstances describe the town of Chiquilistagua which is located just outside of the nation’s capital Managua. Children from this town face such struggles as improper nourishment, insufficient water sources, poor and poor public schooling options. In recent years several non-government organizations have stepped in to help out the town of Chiquilistagua and others facing extreme poverty.
One of these organizations is Nica Nadadores whose goal is to teach leadership and life skills through the sport of swimming for the children of Chiquilistagua. Along with providing lessons to a population where 93% of the population are unable to swim in water above their head, scholarships to better schools are awarded to those who met basic the standards of their program. These scholarships allow for children to attend better schools and further their education without the financial burden that many of their families cannot afford. The Nadadores program also carries out community service projects to better homes and show pride in their communities.
In terms of global leadership the opportunities that Nica Nadadores gives the children of Chiquilistagua are significant to not only the participants but the nation as a whole. Leadership skills such as determination, teamwork, and perseverance coupled with the better education helps equip children up with skills necessary to become leaders in their community. It also allows for the possibility of inspiring and leading change that their nation so desperately needs. This organization also fosters international relations between children of different cultures. Swimmers from the United States who donate gear and funds to the Nica Nadadores program are exposed to a lifestyle which they may not have been otherwise. This fosters a curiosity and compassion for other cultures which is essential is becoming an informed citizen of the world. Overall I truly believe that education and awareness provided by interest or participation in non-government organizations like Nica Nadadores is key in bridging the gap between different cultures and creating positive global relationships.
Forbes. (2014, December). Nicaragua – Forbes. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/places/nicaragua/
Manna Project International. (2015). Manna Project International | MPI Nicaragua. Retrieved from http://mannaproject.org/nicaragua