Nicaragua is a Central American country bordered by Costa Rica and Honduras. It is rich in natural resources and home to Lago de Nicaragua, the largest freshwater lake in Central America. Agriculture, textiles, and services are the primary industries. Nicaragua is the poorest country in Central America and the second poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Access to basic services is a daily struggle for many Nicaraguans. The effects of a dictatorship, a civil war, and natural disasters are still being felt all throughout the country. Underemployment and poverty are major challenges- 55% of the working population is underemployed and 29.6% of the population lives below the poverty line. Many migrants leave Nicaragua for neighboring countries such as Costa Rica in search of employment.
WCF sponsored free English and computer skills classes in Nicaragua for the first time in 2017. Improved language and computer skills are very valuable in increasing chances of being hired. In addition, we hosted business seminars and mentoring classes for the community.
Fifty percent of Nicaragua’s population is below the age of 25. Nearly a million youth and young adults are considered disadvantaged in regards to health, living conditions, education, and employment. Services account for over 50% of Nicaragua’s GDP, and many of the jobs in this sector (hotels, restaurants, government services, etc.) require English proficiency and computer skills. Support for entrepreneurs and business owners is also key to strengthening the economy. Nicaragua ranked 127th out of 190 countries on a World Bank study on the ease of doing business around the world. WCF aims to empower people of all ages with the skills that will enable them to gain employment and lift themselves out of poverty through free business mentoring/seminars, English classes, and computer classes.