Our BASIC Building Program
2008 marked the beginning of a long-term relationship-building program with our brothers and sisters in Nicaragua. Part of our goal and mission is to help others in need, specifically in Chinandega, Nicaragua.
In 2007, a small group of us went to Santa Patricia in Chinandega for the first time. It is a refugee camp made up mostly of broken families. Many of these people were displaced during Hurricane Mitch in the 1998. Many people’s houses and loved ones were lost in mudslides as a result of that natural disaster.
At the same time, there was an active civil war happening. Many men were lost in the battles that ensued. The land that makes up Santa Patricia used to be an open cotton field. The government decided to squat these displaced people and let them fend for themselves. The land has few trees and no room to grow anything of substance. Years later, people have put up makeshift barbed wire borders between property lines. Houses are made of anything they can collect including tin, wood, plastic, and even leaves. Up until about a year ago, there were 150 houses with approximately 450 people total in this refugee area.
To date, these poor people still do not own the land they live on. Four of us went back to this area in November of 2008 to interview families and gather information about our friends living there. The refugee camp has expanded to an amazing 700+ houses now. The shacks seem to become more pitiful but the people are still as loving and inviting as ever. During our interviews, we found that all families wanted two basic needs in life: a stable house and an education. We find these two things to be basic necessities in life. Because of it, we have decided to start the BASIC program: Brothers And Sisters In Christ.