A Letter from the Co-Presidents of Project Chacocente
14 May 2018
Dear Friends of Project Chacocente,
As you probably know, in the last few weeks there has been political and social unrest in Nicaragua, and even violence with loss of lives. The trigger was the announcement on April 17 of a government-mandated change in the Nicaraguan social security program that would have increased costs to employers and their employees and reduced benefits. After the initial violence, the government backed down and cancelled the reforms, but it has become apparent that the root causes of the crisis are deeper and more complicated. Tens of thousands of citizens have repeatedly marched and are calling for Daniel Ortega and his wife, Rosario Murillo, who is vice-president, to step down. There has been recurrent sporadic violence and vandalism, especially in the last week. Most observers say it’s difficult to envision a peaceful scenario whereby the Ortega regimecan remain in power. However, promised dialogue has not yet taken place, and an acceptable and viable succession plan remains to be defined. The future is uncertain.
We are closely watching the situation. Our highest priority is the safety of our students, teachers, staff and dearfriends in Nicaragua; to our knowledge, all are safe. Chacocente Christian School has kept its doors open, with few interruptions. We are fortunate to be located in a rural, relatively remote setting several miles from both Managua and Masaya, though some of our teachers commute from both locations.
Although we highly value the American delegations that travel to Nicaragua each year both to enjoy and enrich the Chacocente experience, we are recommending that delegations postpone their trips until furthernotice. We will stay in touch with you to apprise you of significant developments.
We solicit your constant prayers for Nicaragua and its wonderful people, for the safety of all of Chacocente’s friends and partners in ministry, and for a swift, peaceful and positive resolution to this crisis.
We also ask that you continue to support the Project financially, as generously as possible. God’s work continues! Young people are the future of a peaceful and prosperous Nicaragua. The education of our students is more important than ever.
John Shaver and Larry Gage
Co-Presidents, Project Chacocente