The mission of Comunidad Connect is to connect social, economic, and environmental development opportunities in Nicaragua with local and global resources. Our programs across Nicaragua inspire communities to become actively involved in sustainable development. Their engagement is vital to our collective success. We focus our efforts in four main areas.
Health Connections - We believe that healthy communities are more engaged communities. Many of the chronic health issues that affect rural Nicaraguans are preventable with timely investments in education and appropriate technology. The goal of the Health Connection program is to improve health by encouraging a range of preventative and educational health initiatives. Our team supports local health volunteers who in turn, provide ongoing health and hygiene outreach and training in the community. International volunteers complement ongoing healthcare efforts by providing funding and labor to build smoke-venting wood-burning stoves and ovens, construct cement floors, whitewash with natural insecticide, and provide a number of additional appropriate technology efforts.
Nica Agua - a dynamic project complementing the Health Connection program. It provides families without access to clean drinking water with low-tech, user-friendly water filters, called Filtrons, to combat the most prevalent illnesses in rural Nicaragua: diarrhea, parasites, and kidney infection. In order to receive a Filtron, participating families must invest 16 hours of community service in projects like road repair, bridge construction, school maintenance, and health seminars. Each Filtron has a life of approximately 3-4 years. The economic benefit of reduced illness is a major incentive for families to replace expiring filters at the end of the project period. Nica Agua has attained adoption rates exceeding 80% in all of the communities we have worked in.
Cultural Connections - Meaningful cultural exchange inspires positive change for hosts and visitors alike. We connect groups of students and volunteers from abroad with Nicaraguan communities that have proven their commitment to far-reaching development goals. Group trips generally last one week or 10 days, and often include technical and non-technical volunteer work, service learning, cultural immersion, and exploration. On average, for every one visiting volunteer, three volunteers from the community are engaged in action. Every new group builds on the efforts of previous visit, and the ongoing work of Comunidad Connect in these community insures a lasting impact.
Youth Connections - Children around the world require healthy outlets in order to express their energy and embrace their potential. Our Youth Connection program provides a safe and structured environment for Nicaraguan youth to share in sports, such as soccer, basketball, and baseball, as well as engage in cultural events and afterschool programs. It is a community resource that has a positive impact on youth development, public safety, the local economy, and community camaraderie and pride. This program covers a portion of its costs through participant fees.