Monday, November 16, 2009


It is difficult being far from extended family especially in times of need. When Léah was ill, we couldn’t just call Grandma and Grandpa to come over and take care of the younger ones. In those situations and on a day-to-day basis, we feel extremely fortunate that we have “adopted” an extended family member like Isa.

Isa is originally from Nicaragua and lives just across the street from us. She could not possibly have a bigger heart and would help us out at a moment’s notice. She loves the kids and they love her. Isa doesn’t speak a word of English so it forces me to practice my limited Spanish. She is in her early twenties and like many Nicaraguans, had no choice but to leave her country of birth to find a better life elsewhere.

Some facts about Nicaragua:

  • The 1980s were the backdrop to a savage civil war which saw conflict destroy the nation of Nicaragua
  • Already the poorest country in the Americas, the situation has only gotten worse with the global recession
  • A country of 5.7 million, 48% of the population live on less than $2 a day; 80% of the indigenous people (who make up 5% of the population) live on less than $1 per day
  • 27% of all Nicaraguans are suffering from undernourishment; the highest percentage in Central America
  • Many Nicaraguans emigrated during the 1990s and the 2000s due to the unemployment and the poverty; the majority of the Nicaraguan Diaspora is in Costa Rica and the United States
  • Today, one in six Nicaraguans live in either Costa Rica or the US; it's difficult to estimate the number of Nicaraguans living abroad because many of them are living in host countries illegally

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