Nicaragua: A country in need


From: Dora Pelley
Fountain City

Despair and hope are two parallel emotions felt by many at this time in Nicaragua.


There is despair because of murders, attacks, lack of food, gasoline shortages and much more; there is hope because Nicaraguans long to see the day they can enjoy TRUE freedom. News of what is happening in Nicaragua is slowly being heard in this area, and as a proud Nicaraguan who has lived in the Winona/Fountain City community for 39 years, I wanted to inform you of true stories of humanitarian needs of the people of Nicaragua.

Conditions have deteriorated rapidly in Nicaragua since April 18, when students were peacefully protesting, seeking justice for retired folks being stripped away of 20 percent of their social security wages. Orders were given from the high ranks: “Shoot to kill” (students). As a result, in the past 49 days we have lost 137 young people, 1,000 people have been injured, public hospitals are ordered not to treat the wounded, and people are now handicapped from their wounds. Many disappeared. This is obviously a country in crisis and a clear violation of human rights, but these burdens are upon the backs of the people. Nicaragua is the second-poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.

One example of an individual in need right now is one of the children with whom I have worked who has a condition called “hemophilia.” His body is covered with purple bruises and needs medicine to relieve his pain. This little boy is seven years old and his name is Emmanuel. He is a very special little boy and his mom contacted me yesterday sending me a picture of his bruised body along with her desperate plea for help. They have no food, no gasoline. I sent money yesterday via Western Union, and am hoping and praying they are able to get to Managua (the capital) safely to receive medical care. The last time she made the journey, it took her 22 hours to return home. She just sent me a message today that she was able to get the money I sent. This is good!

Another example: Adilson, a university student and someone very dear to my heart, has been able to attend the university in Rivas in Nicaragua and is about to graduate from college in one year. He sent me a message saying that right now where he lives, there is no food, and the situation is so dangerous for the youth to go anywhere because of the “shoot to kill” policy by the policemen — the very same people who should be protecting them, not killing them. He also explained that people are going into supermarkets and raiding them for food. The people in his town stayed up all night guarding the market to protect it from vandalism. I quote his own words: “Mamita, people are going crazy around here and are out of control with the chaos.” Basically, the way I see it, when you are stripped away from all of your human rights, survival and animalistic tendencies take over.

One last example: On my last mission, I worked in a very poor community in Nicaragua guided by the help of a very humble teacher. She sent me a message the other day, informing me that she had to ask the students that she teaches to lay on the floor because explosives were being thrown at the school building. She described the children screaming from being scared as she did her best to calm them. Mothers came from their humble huts to rescue them, risking their lives as they heard the noise and panicking over the fate of their children. Needless to say, those children are not attending school anymore. Thank God and that brave teacher no child perished that day.

In the past seven years I have been visiting my home country to do missionary work and have become involved helping very poor communities. The focus of my work in Nicaragua has been teaching in schools, empowering women to become self-sustaining and supporting young people in their pursuit of a college education.

There is an account set up at Merchants Bank in Winona called “Nicaraguan Relief Fund” where you may donate to these victims and others that desperately need our help NOW.


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