We are so grateful that for the past 15 years, we have been blessed with the opportunity to travel and grow partnerships in San Juan del Sur. It has been such a joy to see our ministry in Nicaragua grow from 12 people in 2003 to a wonderfully large group of 52, including 24 youth in 2018.
These past 15 years have been peaceful with little to no difficulties, except for a police bribe here and there. Though there were signs of old revolution-era feelings, there were no indications of possible violence. Food overflowed constantly at the market in the center of town, foreign tourism was flourishing, power outages became rare, and as recent as 2016 saw the advent of street names and signs.
However, as of April 19th, 2018, just a few months after our Nica Trip Travelers returned from what is probably the most successful trip to date, turmoil and unrest has gripped the country. Peaceful student-led protests turned violent when police and pro-Sandinista paramilitary gangs attacked the gatherings, resulting in over 170 deaths and injuries in the thousands. San Juan del Sur has been relatively safe, though the locals have taken to arming themselves to defend the town in case of violence.
A PRAYER FOR NICARAGUA
God of Love,
You sent your Son Jesus to show and teach us to love God, and love our neighbors as ourselves. You also called this beloved church, years before some of us joined to be ambassadors of your love to our brothers and sisters in San Juan del Sur. It is with much gratitude that we thank you for the ways in which you have and continue to bless our ministry in Nicaragua.
Today, we come to you asking for you to stay close to our neighbors in Nicaragua, and ask you to put on our hearts and minds what it is that you would have us do to continue walking with our friends through this time of political unrest and turmoil. And may a lasting peace rooted in your love be put in the place of violence.
Notes from our partners on the current situation in San Juan del Sur (SJdS).
Katie Brugger describes:
“It is a tough time for Nicaragua. San Juan del Sur is turning into a ghost town–a large number of foreigners have fled so most of the businesses catering to tourists have closed. Lots and lots of people have lost their jobs. The universities are closed.I think about the consequence of long-term unemployment on the people of San Juan and it’s not pretty.”
Kathy Knight says:
“So far SJdS has been quiet and non-violent, but who knows how long that will last. The situation is NOT good. Food and gasoline have been scarce but they have been getting some fuel, at a very high financial cost. Food seems to be a different matter. Lots of roadblocks and up till now, SJdS has suffered very little violence but that may change soon. Please pray that it ends soon. Lots of love and hugs “
“I moved a few weeks ago from Jinotega to San Juan del Sur, my father went to pick up me to a “tranque” (block street). Jinotega is very dangerous now… Comunidad Connect is not working in the community. So I’m still working some days at the office in San Juan, for now cause we don’t have violence,,, here is quiet, not violent, here we have still some food and basic things, we hope it will continue the same here. My family are safe for now.”
Here are some links to articles to dig in deeper about the developments:
What are some of our community partners and friends saying?