May 4th, 2018
Dear AMOS friends,
Thank you again for all your messages, concern, encouragement and love after our last update. We are monitoring the situation in the country daily, and would like to share our latest update on Nicaragua, and how it is impacting our ministry here in Nicaragua.
Over the past few days, there were two large and peaceful marches in Managua: a “Peace and Justice” march and vigil on April 28th and a rally “For Peace and Dialogue” on Monday, April 30th. Statements by religious leader, Cardinal Leopoldo Brenes on Saturday and by President Daniel Ortega on Monday, were hopeful as they both recommitted to take part in the national dialogue process, which will develop over the next month. Our prayers and hopes are for long-lasting peace and justice.
Our staff is also returning to normal activities, including providing clinic services in Nejapa, facilitating support groups, and our visits to accompany the rural communities, health promoters and communities clinics we work with.
While these are all positive steps, the recent events in Nicaragua have already had and will have significant financial and programmatic impacts on both AMOS and the Nicaraguan economy. On April 23rd, the U.S. State Department issued a Level 3 Travel Warning which has caused many people to reconsider their travel plans to Nicaragua. While we continue to feel there is no threat to our staff nor of any visitors working with us, AMOS has taken the following proactive measures:
- We are closely monitoring and assessing the security in each local setting where we work. Protests or demonstrations are usually contained to specific geographical points, so far nowhere near AMOS, so it is important for our staff and any visitors to be aware of these and to assess their significance.
- Our Delegations and Volunteer Programs staff have been in close communication with team leaders and volunteers with plans to come to Nicaragua this summer. We are heartened that several groups have already indicated their intention to proceed with their original plans to send their delegations and volunteers because of the improvement in the situation.
- At the same time, we are also taking measures to prepare for financial and project losses due to recent cancellations. Because the ongoing community health work of AMOS relies on a mix of individual and church donations, foundation grants, delegations and volunteers, and income from our guesthouse, the delegations and volunteer cancellations could represent almost a third of the funding for our ongoing work at AMOS.
Our value of sharing love with our neighbors is even more important in times like these. Nicaraguan economists are projecting that the recent protests will result in the loss of over 100 million dollars for the Nicaraguan economy because of decreased number of visitors to the country. Low-income families in rural and urban communities are the most vulnerable to negative impacts on the national economy and security. That is why we need your help to be able to continue to work closely alongside the people we serve throughout Nicaragua.
Please consider a special donation today to help AMOS continue our critical work. You make it possible for us to continue to provide jobs for our staff, to support our health workers, and to carry out our programs that improve the health of thousands of vulnerable children, new mothers, youth and chronic patients.
Thank you for continuing to share your prayers, love, and support for this ministry. We would not be here without the thousands of people, churches, and universities who partner with us to keep working towards health for all.
With love and gratitude,
Dr. David Parajón, Executive Director
Dr. Laura Parajón, Medical Director
On behalf of the AMOS Team