Nicaragua – August 2013
BRIGHT was in two parts of the country for this 10 day trip to Nicaragua.
We began our trip in Rivas (which is in the southern part of the country). We visited a school called Soe Maria Romero that was for children with various moderate/severe special needs including Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, deafness, and global delays. Since children in Nicaragua only go to school until 12 noon, we saw these children for the morning, and then spent some time talking with the director, teachers, and staff.
We then traveled to Los Cedros, a “suburb” of Managua. There we visited a group home for boys (Casa Robles) as well as a group home for girls (Casa Havilah). These children were removed from the home because of drugs, prostitution, neglect, etc. at the willingness of the parents.
The four therapists that traveled to Nicaragua then went to a preschool called La Esparanza and worked with nearly 100 preschoolers that were receiving a free education on behalf of missionaries. These children were born in the city dump and would most likely show delays due to malnutrition.
Another school named Colegio Cristiano Havilah was visited for two days of the trip. This school educated preschoolers through 6th graders who would not otherwise be able to afford an education. Many of the children we worked with had sensory needs, issues with impulse control, and trouble with attention.
The trip finished up with a visit to New Life Nicaragua orphanage to work with the children, all of whom has special needs. These children ranged from 4 months to 5 years, and had various disabilities. Many of these disabilities were a result of drug/alcohol abuse. This is one of the few orphanages that work directly with the Nicaraguan government to help care for these children.