Las Tias Update
One year after the political demonstrations erupted in Nicaragua, Las Tías is stronger than ever! We spoke with Candida, one of Las Tías’ directors, to gain some insight into what life was like in the midst of the unrest and what’s happening now that it’s calmed down.
How have the people of Nicaragua been impacted by the political and social unrest in the past year?
Candida: “One of the biggest effects that our country’s unrest had was on private and state layoffs around all of Nicaragua, including León. But those who kept their jobs now can go to work normally and businesses are open, the only ones that remain closed are bars, hostels, etc. Also, visits from tourists and cruises have resumed and there is a sense of tranquility. Unemployment remains the main issue. Unemployed fathers and mothers struggle to maintain balance and well-being within their families, creating psychological strain. Some have traveled outside of Nicaragua looking for better opportunities and others have returned.”
How have the students responded to having a place like Las Tias to spend their time?
Candida: “Our students know that Las Tías is a safe place where they will always be cared for and supported. It is a place where they can study, play and just be children. They have maintained their positive attitudes as well as their desire to excel and pursue careers. As expected, some parents remain afraid that Nicaragua will stay in a state of distress. We assure them that Las Tías will always be here for them.”
How has Las Tías persevered through the political and social unrest?
Candida: “Overcoming the crisis in Nicaragua has been an ongoing process. We are women who are committed to not giving up. We are always active, talking with students about the situation and how to stay positive throughout. We have highlighted the importance of students continuing their studies and focusing on their priorities. We held a parent meeting to discuss the situation, and parents shared that under the pressure of unemployment they are struggling to survive, selling goods in markets & on the streets. We discussed how Spark Ventures has helped by providing food and scholarships for their children. Spark has always been alongside us through the most difficult times, supporting the students and their families.”
What does the future look like for Las Tías and the students you support?
Candida: “Las Tías will continue to stand strong, regardless of what happens in the future. The best thing we can do in moments like this is to continue to motivate our students. We are encouraging students to learn how to survive despite hardships and to keep persevering. We are preparing them for their future with the vocational programs we offer including baking, sewing, beauty, & carpentry which can be sustainable jobs for them.”
What has the support from Spark’s community meant to Las Tías during this past year?
Candida: “The board of directors, students, and members are very thankful to Spark Ventures. You have always been with us in the most difficult moments. For us, Spark Ventures is such an effective organization with a great desire to help Las Tías.”
It’s been a little over one year since Spark visited Las Tías. Have the children noticed? Do they want us to come back soon?
Candida: “Both the staff and students are excited for you to visit soon! It’s so exciting when you come. We especially enjoy the activities we do together like playing and making crafts. We constantly talk about the amazing support Spark Ventures provides Las Tías. We hope you come soon so we can chat, laugh and dance as we have done before.”