Nicaragua is identified by most economic measures as the second poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, second only to Haiti. The country faces environmental issues such as soil erosion, deforestation, polluted water, etc. and many profound economic challenges. The humanitarian needs there are overwhelming and the children aren't spared the pain.
A team from Beyond Our Borders first traveled to Nicaragua in 2006 on an assessment trip. While there, we met with Bob Trolese, the leader of the Verbo Ministries, a Christian organization that has been operating Protestant churches, orphanages, feeding centers, a small farm growing different kinds of fruits and vegetables organically for their own consumption, and a small hospital for many years. Bob, an ordained American pastor, and his wife, Myra, started the first Verbo in Nicaragua in January, 1980, and have lived there full time since the mid-1980s. Over the years they have consistently expanded Verbo's capacity to help more of the poor in Nicaragua. Beyond Our Borders has provided funding for many Verbo projects in their orphanages and feeding centers since that first visit. Verbo will continue to receive our support in the future.
In 2012 and again in 2013, Beyond Our Borders team members traveled to Nicaragua. Those two trips produced new opportunities to help poor children through two other small Christian charitable organizations in the central part of that country. An orphanage and school, Hogar de Gloria, is located on a rutted dirt road a few kilometers outside of Jinotepe, a poor town an hour drive to the southwest of Managua. Operated by a Christian outreach based in Florida, Hogar de Gloria provides shelter, Christian teaching, and hope for dozens of the abandoned, and impoverished, and neglected children in the area. Accion Medica Christiana (AMC) arranges trips for teams of visiting medical missionaries to remote areas of Nicaragua to administer medications and treatment to the indigenous people there. Except for the work of AMC, many of those people would never see a doctor or receive any form of health care.
In 2006, the BOB team spent several days in the Managua region learning about the work that Verbo Ministries was doing in Central America. The relationships that were founded earlier (Export Nicaragua) were strengthened and specific needs were identified. BOB returned to the United States convinced that our efforts to help children should include this country.
Based on the earlier trip to Nicaragua in 2006, Beyond Our Borders and others took a trip to Nicaragua in February 2012 to determine where BOB could connect with additional local institutions. Not only did we identify several organizations with which BOB might partner, but we also met with Silvio Mendez and established the basis for importing coffee into our country for sale at Christ United Methodist Church in Chapel Hill, NC and All Saints' United Methodist Church in Raleigh, NC. All coffee sale proceeds go directly to the children we help.
Beyond Our Borders will return to Managua to continue fostering our strong relationships as we endeavor to reach out to Nueva Vida ("New Life" Verbo Ministry) and to our other partners in Nicaragua. Our hope is to supply the feeding centers with tables and chairs, and to further access the needs at the other facilities.
If you would like more information or are interested in traveling with BOB on our upcoming trip, please contact us.