CRS Partners in Nicaragua
The concept of partnership lies at the heart of Catholic Relief Services' development philosophy. By working closely with a diverse group of local partners—including the Catholic Church as a strategic and privileged partner—CRS Nicaragua leverages existing networks to mobilize local knowledge and resources, achieving greater impact and more lasting results.
Ecclesiastical partners include the national and diocesan Caritas offices, Catholic Peace and Justice Commissions, and the Pastorate of Human Mobility. Lay partners include local nongovernmental organizations and other specialized organizations. CRS has also established alliances with international aid organizations, including Lutheran World Relief, Technoserve and CARE.
Caritas of Matagalpa has worked in partnership with CRS since 1998, implementing projects in health, housing, agriculture and legal advice. Caritas Matagalpa was a key strategic partner in the recovery period following Hurricane Mitch in 1998, helping to lay the foundation for long-term development through community organization. This work led to Caritas Matagalpa's work in a large-scale food security project known as the Development Activities program. This program provided hundreds of farmers with technical training so that today they are able to participate more fully in competitive markets. Caritas Matagalpa fully espouses principles of sustainable agriculture in harmony with the environment, pushing open organic markets for coffee and other produce.
The Peace and Justice Commission of the Diocese of León is a CRS partner implementing innovative projects that respond to the challenges of globalization and human rights. Through a project funded by the U.S. Department of Labor, the commission provides workers in León and Chinandega with information on their rights and responsibilities, thus improving their ability to enjoy fair and dignified working conditions. The project responds to the Central American Free Trade Agreement and its provisions to improve labor conditions in participating countries. The commission is considered a fair and neutral facilitator in the often sensitive and contentious field of labor rights.