Welcome to Nicaragua!
Nicaragua is located in Central America, bordered by Honduras to the north and Costa Rica to the south. Known as the Land of Lakes and Volcanoes, Nicaragua is a geologically rich country with diverse agriculture, ecosystems, and landscapes. Nicaraguans are proud of their rich indigenous and Spanish background and are generally a hard-working, welcoming, and generous people. Despite its natural wealth, Nicaragua remains the second poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, next to Haiti. Nearly 50% of the country's population lives in poverty and as a result, children living in Nicaragua struggle to develop due to a poor education system and very limited access to opportunities. They often drop out of school to join the workforce.
In 2009, Outreach360 founder, Tom Eklund, began researching other countries in Latin America that could benefit from Outreach360's volunteers and programs. Nicaragua, being one of the poorest yet safest countries in Central America, stood out to Tom. After traveling through rural Nicaragua, Tom and his wife, Paula, met Nicaraguan psychologist Alma Fletes, who was working with underserved preschoolers in the city of Jinotega, also known as the City of Mist. At the heart of Nicaragua's coffee-growing region, Jinotega is a smaller city with great need. In 2010, Coco Barrett, our former Country Director in the Dominican Republic moved to Jinotega to begin Outreach360's Nicaragua program. One of the first things she did was hire Alma Fletes to join our team! Together, they founded our Learning Center in 2011. Our first class of Learning Center students in Nicaragua is now approaching high school graduation and a brand new class of students was enrolled in 2017.