In Nicaragua, approximately 30% of the population lives on less than $2 per day, and in rural areas, poverty rates are especially high, where 50% of households live in extreme poverty. With limited access to good schools or job opportunities, rural Nicaraguan families often rely on operating small farms for food and to earn a livelihood. By providing training and financial support for the two most promising enterprises- agriculture and tourism- impoverished populations can rise above poverty.
Agriculture is one of Nicaragua's largest industries and yet the practices and materials most farmers use are outdated and hinder their production. Yucca is the main crop grown by small farmers, but without access to technical support and profitable markets, most small farmers sell yucca at local markets at low prices and struggle to earn a profit. With just a small loan, these farmers could improve their farming techniques, produce more crops and create more capital for the entire community.
A variety of programs are aimed at providing training and finance for agriculture, education and tourism. Opportunity provides farmers with loans, technical assistance and access to markets, helping them achieve yield increases averaging 30%. The Emprendedora Technical School empowers 300 rural youth with a relevant education preparing them for careers in hospitality or agriculture, and the Pacaya Lodge & Spa provides internships and job opportunities for students and others in the community.
Over the last decade, Opportunity has developed a community-focused program that empowers Nicaraguan families and farmers to work together to fully utilize their communities' economic, social and cultural assets. Through our agricultural program, technical school and community led projects, Opportunity works with clients and local leaders to provide sustainable economic opportunities and to create holistic transformation.