Masaya, Nicaragua is one of the locations which Bridges to Community seeks to assist in the areas of agriculture, education, healthcare, and housing. Though it’s the nation’s smallest department in land area, it boasts the greatest population density. Roughly an hour away from the busy capital city of Managua, the region is renowned for its breathtaking beauty and tourist opportunities.
It includes such awe-inspiring natural features as lagoons, lakes, active volcanoes and forests filled with vibrant plants and wildlife. Unfortunately, this department also abounds with poverty. The poor, rural towns surrounding the big city are Bridges to Community’s primary focus in this region of Nicaragua.
Originally settled by the Diriane tribe from Mexico, this area also came to be inhabited by the Spanish starting in the early to mid-1800s. These two people groups blended together to form the area’s unique culture. There are plenty of local festivities celebrating the area’s rich history as well as exceptional arts and crafts that are handmade by local artisans.
Even though the area has such a dynamic culture, it is filled with people who struggle with securing the necessities of everyday life, such as adequate shelter and basic education for their children. That’s where Bridges to Community comes into the picture. Our goal is to make a positive difference in the lives of Masaya’s most impoverished residents and give them a chance for a brighter future.
Masaya is actually a conglomeration of 27 different communities found 28 kilometers from the Nicaraguan capital. One of the biggest of these communities is called Comejen. Within the town of Comejen, there are four smaller sections. The first of these sections is home to nearly 1,100 people whose primary source of income is agriculture. Other typical business options for the people of Comejen section one include carpentry, running produce stands, making and selling textiles, as well as arts and crafts.
The main reason the people of this section of Comejen are in such an impoverished state is that their location is so remote. Though their cost of living is around $430 a month, up to 80% of residents make far less than they need to to reach this basic standard of living. Some only make the equivalent of between $70 and $175 US dollars per month. Whole families in this area are trying to survive on under a $6 daily income.
Practically all of the money they make has to be spent on basic food staples such as beans, rice, sugar, oil, and a little meat. Hopefully, this overview of the region’s economic situation will help you to see how desperately these people could use the assistance which Bridges to Community seeks to provide to them.
Our organization wants to make a lasting impact. That’s why we strive to help communities come together and find solutions to the problems they face. We work with them to help lift their poorest families up to a higher standard of living, as well as put programs in place that will benefit the community as a whole. If you’re interested in partnering with us to make a difference in the lives of people such as those in Masaya’s Comejen #1 district, we’d love to hear from you! Visit our website at bridgestocommunity.org to learn more.
If you have a group which is interested in serving as volunteers for a week or more in Masaya, our staff will organize and coordinate the trip, working with our team-on-the-ground in Masaya to make your volunteer service efforts a success for both you as well as for the people in Masaya.
Volunteers to this region can assist with a number of different projects, such as building new homes, classrooms, and a healthcare facility, as well as planting trees to help conserve soil and water. If any of these projects spark your interest, feel free to contact us to find out more about becoming a Bridges to Community volunteer.