The Challenge

Nicaragua is the second poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere. Over 80% of the country’s poor live in remote, rural areas with minimal access to basic services. These individuals often live on less than $2.00 per day of income, which limits their ability to care for themselves and their families. The lack of basic services, in particular water, in rural Nicaragua often leads to health problems, including malnutrition, chronic diarrhea, organ failure, and other critical concerns. For those who do have access to water, families typically spend nearly 20 hours per week carrying water from wells to their homes, a responsibility that falls primarily on women and youth. In addition to a lack of potable water, many rural Nicaraguans are also energy insecure. Currently, around 1.7 million people in Nicaragua live without energy and therefore have no way of refrigerating food, pumping water or completing school work after the sun goes down. Alternatively, families may rely on kerosene lamps for light, which emit toxic fumes that can lead to serious respiratory illness.

Our Approach

Green Empowerment grew out of the legacy of Ben Linder, a young engineer killed in Nicaragua who was working on rural development projects in the 1980s. Rooted in this legacy we have established long-standing partnerships with two local NGOs to increase access to renewable energy and potable water through the implementation of micro-hydro systems, ram pumps and solar panels. To support the effectiveness of these technologies we have also worked closely with communities to develop and implement watershed management plans to guarantee a consistent flow of water. Based on the success of our current projects, we have also expanded our work to include the designing of and installation of improved cookstoves and patio gardens and provided trainings and capacity building opportunities for our local partners. Our work in Nicaragua has served as a model of how empowerment based and community rooted development can successfully tackle some of the world’s largest challenges.


2018 Highlights

  • Despite civil unrest, we safely installed 7 community water systems with partners AsoFenix and ATDER-BL, benefiting over 3,500.

  • We trained communities on water system management and hygiene and sanitation practices.

  • We launched a Healthy Schools Program at 5 schools bringing new kitchens, gardening and nutrition education to 285 students.

News from Nicaragua

A Letter of Gratitude

By Green Empowerment Communications | December 15, 2021 |

Maria Troche Mejía, president of the Los Andes water committee. As the holidays approach, I am grateful to share a remarkable story with you that demonstrates how your gifts to Green Empowerment are harnessed to achieve lasting results. Authentic partnership is at the heart of our work. With sustaining investments from supporters like you, we…

Local Perspectives Lead to Long Term Success

By Green Empowerment Communications | August 12, 2021 |

In my last article, I laid out the reasons why the most obvious water source is often not the one that works. So how can we identify the best water source? At Green Empowerment we use a dual approach, weighing technical considerations and simultaneously working closely with the community to address social and political factors.…

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