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Missionaries in Nicaragua

Dear Friends,

In our work with women in the remote municipality of San Juan de Limay, near the Honduran border we were able to facilitate various training processes with two groups of women so they could better know and defend their rights.  As you know, Miguel is a lawyer and he designed various popular education trainings for women from sixteen villages on the laws and how to use them (there is a great new law here that covers every kind of violence against women).  He was successful in designing a methodology that encouraged the women to share their experiences and ask really good questions.  Their stories were particularly poignant and personal and helpful to the other women there who were not ready to share their own stories. He frequently relates the topics to Bible stories and helps the women know they are loved by God and supported in Jesus' example of always taking the side of the oppressed.  Each time we've gone to work with the women it has led women to come to the fore and denounce the violence they are experiencing. He has supported women in their legal actions and helped them get connected to local government functionaries - like the prosecutor who visits this town once a week.  In a number of cases young women with small children decided to proceed with legal action to get men to acknowledge they are the father of the child. Once that step is complete then the women will be able to take the next step of demanding the man for a food pension for the children. A food pension is like child support - but since people are poor here, the amount most men can give might just help cover the food.  In one case, a woman has two kids by two different men who don't pay the food pension. She lives in a village and washes and irons to make ends meet, and just barely.