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Nicaragua is the second poorest nation in the region. The only Western Hemisphere state that is economically worse off than Nicaragua is Haiti, and Haiti is now suffering an economic and social disaster. Nicaraguan social and economic fabric has been disrupted repeatedly over the past 120 years. The families of our students survive on $50 to $100 per month. None of my students had received any preventive medical care, dental care or OB/gyn care prior to our assistance becoming available. Next, there are few good and safe jobs available in Nicaragua. Most agricultural jobs are very dangerous because of the unsafe use of pesticides which is universal. The father of one sponsored student died of kidney failure after working in the banana fields for only a few months. Many Nicaraguans have died or are on kidney dialysis now because of this problem. This is why organic bananas are so important. Many rural Nicaraguan communities lack a safe water supply. Even college educated Nicaraguans often have difficulty finding good and safe jobs. On a brighter note, while there is still discrimination against women in Nicaragua, and domestic violence remains a big problem, Nicaraguan society is making sincere efforts in addressing these important issues.
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