Nicaragua is one of the poorest countries in Latin America. Of its 5.5 million people, 46.2% live in poverty and 15% in extreme poverty. In rural areas, these conditions worsen: two out of three Nicaraguans are poor (Government of Nicaragua, 2001). The autonomous communities of the Caribbean coast are the poorest municipalities. The country's annual income per person is $US3,100 (2007). Social expenditure accounts for 3.8% in education and 3.7% in health, half of what other countries with similar poverty levels invest (Alliance for Childhood Investment, 2007). Nicaragua has progressed in strengthening its democratic institutions and culture, but social conditions - determined by endemic poverty combined with recurrent political crisis, partisan public policy administration, and corruption - profoundly erode the trust between citizens and governments and foster a permanent institutional fragility (Alliance for Childhood Investment, 2007).
KeywordsLife Skill Shared Vision Autonomous Community Social Expenditure Caribbean Coast
The authors had support from Education Development Center, Inc., and UNICEF, Nicaragua.
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