Quick facts about Casa Betania:
- Ages served: 6 – 19 years
- Facility Description: One small, well-kept building. The social services center is located within the confines of the nuns’ convent.
- Education: School-aged children attend local public schools, where they receive instruction in core academic subjects.
- Academic year: Typically begins in February and ends in November. Students enjoy summer break from early December to early February.
- Outreach: During the week, Casa Betania provides children with tutoring, meals, school supplies, medications, clothes and shoes.
- Meals: The Sisters provide the children with nutritious meals during the week.
- Health: Medical care is provided for children as the need for it arises. One of the Sisters is a doctor who runs the clinic and a small pharmacy for the children, their families and the community.
Known as the land of lakes and volcanoes, Nicaragua boasts fertile Pacific lowlands, north-central highlands and Atlantic and Caribbean lowlands. Nearly a fifth of the nation is set aside as protected parks or reserves — unique ecosystems teeming with a variety of wildlife. Nicaragua includes diverse ethnicities as well. Indigenous peoples, Europeans, Africans, Asians and people of Middle Eastern origin all call this breathtaking land home. Nicaragua’s wealth of natural resources and rich culture, however, belie the deprivation in which most of its residents live.
This largest Central American nation is also the region’s most destitute — it’s the second-poorest country in the Western Hemisphere — and is riddled with natural disasters, political instability and widespread poverty and underemployment. The vast majority of Nicaraguan workers earn less than two dollars a day.
Boaco, located in northeastern Nicaragua, is no exception to these maladies. Here, Casa Betania serves as a beacon of hope. The nuns who founded the welfare center strive to meet the basic needs of area children and families, while also providing training and guidance. In the midst of poverty-related struggles, Casa Betania provides local, impoverished children with the opportunity to rise above the difficult socioeconomic circumstances from which they come.
Quick Facts about Nicaragua:
- Population: 6,284,757 (2018 est.)
- Languages Spoken: Spanish (official) 95.3%, Miskito 2.2%, Mestizo of the Caribbean coast 2%, other 0.5%
- Unemployment Rate: 2% (2018 est.)
- Poverty Rate: 30% (2017 est.)