Velasquez family

Fatima Cruz stands in front of her humble stone house with her two children, Harry and Alicia who participated in youth programs through CEPAD and are now more outgoing as they learned new social skills through playing soccer.

With your support CEPAD began working in El Guineo in 2009 and youth volunteers from the community identified many needs for children ages 7-12. They determined that soccer was one of the best ways to reach out and help these children overcome their challenges.

Fatima is excited to see the changes that CEPAD’s program made in her children. “They used to be shy, they didn’t like talking with other children, but now they are more outgoing with other kids and are doing better in school.”

Some of these kids come from broken homes and have been subject to verbal and physical abuse. For others, the combination of rural living and few opportunities to interact with people outside of their village, mean that many children are shy or have poor social skills.  As they learn the sport, interact with other youth from their village and visit other communities it helps them to learn better social skills and improves the likelihood that they will be successful in the future.

“The teams provide 15 children in every community with the opportunity to learn to work together and relate to children in other communities,” explains Maykeling Martínez, who heads the psychosocial project.

The idea to form a soccer league was well received and replicated in seven of the surrounding villages close to El Castillo. The league not only created community teams, but also organized them into playing small tournaments in the area.

Fatima is thankful for your support and is hopeful that these programs will continue so that other children may also benefit. “I hope you will continue working with kids, so that, like my children have come out ahead, others can do the same.”

So far the project has shown great success in the development and growth of the children. We are so thankful for you, as you continue to support these projects for youth development. Watch the video below of Fatima, Harry and Alicia.

Buena Vista Community Leadership Committee

A few years ago the 90 families of Buena Vista were suffering from lack of access to potable water; they shared just a handful of artisan-made wells scattered throughout the village.

Many families had to walk over a ¼ mile to carry back the vital liquid to their homes and farms.

A well had been dug by The US Army and tubing had been installed by the Japanese government, but the pump failed shortly after it was installed, and the community remained without water for almost two years.

Justo Cerda - Community Leader

Through CEPAD’s training, community leaders like Justo have been able to advocate for the needs of the small village of Buena Vista

Justo Cerda explains that thanks to just a year of training in community leadership through CEPAD, they have already made huge progress.

The community leadership found they could come together and find a solution to this and other issues if they worked together. They requested that the local government install a new pump, and within a few weeks saw the project come through!

However, along with the pump a new problem arose. The electricity wires running from the main lines to the well had been stolen over the two years that it wasn’t in service. It took the community leadership committee more than three months to convince the electric company to run new wires.

The community leaders also developed a payment plan so that the benefited families can cover the monthly electricity costs of running the pump.

Paula, one of the community leaders explains how they “needed to wake up and act.” That is exactly what they have done in their small but welcoming village.

The new pump has been working flawlessly for the past the months and is now giving all families in the village access to clean water.

With your support the leaders in Buena Vista will continue to learn how to advocate for the needs in their village.


Please join us at CEPAD in celebrating all of our generous partners in ministry!  Your faithful partnership of prayer, relationships and financial gifts, year after year, creates great impacts for good, both in Nicaragua and in the United States.

A brand new partner, Kirk in the Hills Presbyterian Church, of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, has pioneered a new pattern of relationship for international mission.  As part of their own, local capital campaign, Kirk in the Hills chose to multiply their gifts by giving an initial gift of $200,000 to Nicaragua.  $180,000 was given to CEPAD to directly fund our ministries in rural communities and to serve as a lead gift for our nascent building program.  The remaining tithe of the gift, $20,000, was given to the sending and support costs of Presbyterian Mission Co-workers Justin and Renee Sundberg, who serve CEPAD.

It is our hope and our prayer that this new pattern of generosity becomes standard across the church: that local efforts are multiplied to include international partners, and that gifts to international partners are tithed to mission co-workers.  We hope that Kirk in the Hills’ vision will inspire both existing and new friends to consider new opportunities to partner together.

We invite all of you to consider your call to join in supporting CEPAD, along with Justin and Renee, at whatever level you can give.  It’s like loaves and fish. God takes our contributions and multiplies them so that all receive what they need, because we’re all in this together. And the miracle is not in what we bring, but in the blessing that Jesus gives our gifts.

For more information, please contact Emily Hewes, Development Director with CEPAD USA at (207) 922-9849 or by email at


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