Tikkun Olam Nicaragua
What We Do...
Tikkun Olam Nicaragua sends medical teams to remote, rural areas of Nicaragua where health care is not readily accessible. We set up primary care clinics in small pueblos that the Nicaraguan Ministry of Health has identified as communities in dire need of medical care. The hundreds of patients who come to our clinic may walk for hours or arrive on horseback. Some of our patients have never received medical care. We do not charge for our services, nor do we charge for any of the supplies or medications that we dispense. All members of our medical team are volunteers and we have both donated funds and raised funds to cover these costs. Approximately 850-1200 patients are seen during each mission trip and approximately 3,250 prescriptions are filled during our 4 days of clinic. We partner with the Nicaraguan non-profit, VIDA Volunteer, who handles our logistics and facilitates our working relationship with the Nicaraguan Ministry of Health. A physician from VIDA Volunteer accompanies our medical team so that we may provide continuity of care and ensure that those who need follow-up care, will have it.
Our initiatives depend on the generosity of our sponsors and donors like yourself. In addition to providing medical care for the patients at our clinics, Tikkun Olam Nicaragua helps provide much needed support to those we serve. Each mission trip, we purchase over TWO TONS of rice and beans and salt for distribution. Every patient receives enough food to sustain a family of four for a week. We bring over 1,200 recycle fabric tote bags to enable each patient to bring home their medication, supplies and rice and beans. Our past initiatives have included: Purchasing 500 pairs of rain boots for "campesinos" working in the coffee fields in rural Jinotega, assisting the orphanages of Globe International with the purchase of hot water heaters, toilets, a washer and dryer, livestock, baby formula, clothing and shoes, hiring a psychologist, hiring maintenance personnel, and establishing scholarships for "rising star" children. We have also brought hundreds of gently used shoes to distribute in our clincs, hundreds of stuffed toys to give to the awaiting children and countless shawls and blankets are provided to the elderly and infirmed. This past year, we donated enough school supplies to meet the needs of two local public schools serving over 200 students, for their entire school year! Please go to our donate page if you would like to help support this program!
Because the government of Nicaragua does not have the resources to provide health education to its citizens, Tikkun Olam Nicaragua provides medical education to those we see in our clinics, including mothers of young infants to the oldest of senior citizens. Our medical professionals provide information on a multitude of topics, including wound care, the importance of a sturdy shoe, and good hand-washing techniques to help prevent a myriad of diseases.
The Jewish presence in Nicaragua was once a thriving community of well over 250 families. By the late 1990s, most Jews had fled the country, leaving the current Jewish community of 30 - 50 individuals without a Rabbi or synagogue. The founding members of Tikkun Olam Nicaragua along with members of the St. Paul's Lutheran Church team met with the some of the Jews in Nicaragua for the first time in 2012. We had a memorable Shabbat service, Shabbat dinner, and a remarkable visit to the Jewish cemetery in Managua. The following year, we visited two communities for a Friday night service and a Saturday morning Shabbat. It is our goal to continue to nurture and help build a connection with the Nicaraguan Jewish Community.