We are Leeds Central America Solidarity group (LCAS)
We have links going back over 20 years with the Community Movement (MCN) in La Concha, Nicaragua. The MCN is an inspiring community organisation entirely run, managed, and owned by local people. Each ‘barrio’ in the town, and each rural village (‘communidad’) has its own committee of the MCN who hold regular meetings attended by women, men and children of all faith and political persuasions.
They organise community activities such as health brigades, training on human rights, including women’s and children’s rights, and challenge issues such as water privatisation and corruption which threaten the poorest members of the community. They also decide as communities on priorities for community development and seek funding from national Non-Governmental Organisation’s (NGOs) to improve life for the community, especially for those in most need. They have run projects such as latrine building, water projects, housing improvement, agricultural projects, vaccination brigades, and many others.
There are a number of co-operatives associated with the MCN in La Concha, including a co-operative of pineapple and pitayaha (dragon fruit) producers who have recently produced their first commercially available wines and jams.
LCAS has a long-standing commitment to support the MCN in areas where they find it hard to get support from bigger NGOs. For example, we provide a monthly administrative fund from which the elected leaders can draw their expenses, such as bus fares to the capital to meet with NGOs, money for phone calls and time in an internet café on the computer, to buy paper to print letters etc. These are relatively small amounts of money, but prohibitively expensive for the committee members, elected as they are from amongst very poor communities.
You can see more MCN photos if you click below:
Thanks to Mayan Hands who created the beautiful textile that illuminates our front blog page http://www.mayanhands.org/