Nicaragua is in the middle of a violent political crisis. What began as a series of peaceful protests against unpopular pension reforms in mid April quickly escalated into bloodshed as protests were met with a brutal state response. The death toll has now reached 448 (July 2018).
Nicaragua was listed as a top 2018 travel destination by Time magazine, the Telegraph and Conde Nast. Since the outbreak of violence, tourists have left the country and those planning holidays have cancelled their trips. Destinations that were steadily growing in popularity are now ghost towns. The United States, United Kingdom and others have issued travel advisories against visiting Nicaragua unless absolutely essential.
This has dramatically affected Nicaragua's tourism sector. The tourist sector union estimates that the industry in Nicaragua is facing losses of around US$100 million. Restaurants are working at 15% capacity and hotels in once busy cities like Leon are reporting zero occupancy.
The sudden disappearance of tourism has left a huge number of local communities stranded without a source of income. Spanish schools have closed their doors for lack of students and local families that depended on money from hosting students now have no stable income.
The sudden disappearance of tourism has left local communities stranded without a source of income. Spanish schools have closed their doors for lack of students and local families that previously hosted students now have no way of earning money.
Speak for Nicaragua is a sustainable way for local Nicaraguans to earn money for themselves and their families- even without tourists. By connecting users to locals we also hope that Speak Nicaragua will raise awareness of the human rights violations currently occurring in Nicaragua. 100% of donations go towards supporting local communities that are no longer able to support themselves.
We are beginning our efforts in Granada, previously the most popular tourist destination in Nicaragua.