Nicaragua Nicaragua Carazo Diriamba


$29,072 needed of $176,722

Implementing Organization

Church World Service (CWS)

Program Summary

A dry climate, environmental deterioration, and chronic poverty have contributed to an inadequate quantity and quality of water and insufficient food in this region, resulting in malnutrition and other health problems. These challenges are complicated by illiteracy, poor roads, high unemployment and seasonal migration to Costa Rica. 55 percent of households in the area are headed by women. Since 2005, local partner CIEETS has been working to reach the most food insecure families in Nicaragua. The current phase of their work reaches out to a third group of communities after two previous successful programs. They are working on conservation agriculture, planting fruit trees and patio gardens, gaining access to clean water, community advocacy, and coordinating with churches to be active in programs that build food security.

Success Stories

Life is Better in So Many Ways

Now that they have a tank to store rainwater in, Maribel and her family are no longer completely limited to producing food in the unpredictable rainy season. She says, “Through training activities with [local partner] CIEETS, we can now grow and harvest more because we’ve learned about farming with irrigation. Since what we grow is the basis of our livelihood, any extra we can produce is welcome.”

Guaranteeing access to safe water for irrigation, sanitation and hygiene is just one of the goals and strategies of CIEETS and 292 participant families. They are working together toward diversifying livelihoods and finding ways to reduce risks and adapt to climate change.

At the time the program came to the municipality of Diriamba, where Maribel and her family live, the only crop they grew was corn, or sometimes beans. Now they are harvesting many different fruits and vegetables and enjoying greater yields and a healthier diet.

How did this change occur? Agricultural “promoters” from the community received training at hands-on Farmer Field Schools in such techniques as crop diversification, soil conservation, sustainable use of water resources, rainwater harvesting, preparing organic pesticides and best practices for selling surplus crops. The promoters then passed along their knowledge to neighbors like Maribel.

“Thank God CIEETS came to my community and helped me improve my family’s life,” Maribel says warmly. In addition to the training, she’s grateful for the program’s help with the water tank and replacing a latrine that had reached the end of its useful life. Maribel says that her husband tries to find work in construction, but opportunities are rare. Their income has always been low, even more so after the impact that COVID and hurricanes Eta and Iota have had on the economy and public health.

“This program has been crucial to our survival in so many ways,” she adds. “Thank you.”

Nicaragua Carazo Diriamba Program
Led by Church World Service and Local Partner CIEETS