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Basic Indicators

Source: UNICEF: The State of the World's Children Report

Population: 5,743,000 (2009)
National language: Spanish
Per capita income: US$ 1,010/year (2009)
Life expectancy: 73 (2009)
% of population using
improved drinking water sources:
85% (2008)
% of population using
adequate sanitation facilities:
52% (2008)
Under 5 Mortality Rate: 26/1,000 live births (2009)

Sponsor a child today! Nicaragua is the largest country in Central America and home to Lago de Nicaragua, the largest freshwater lake in the region.

Slightly smaller than the state of New York, Nicaragua is bordered by Honduras to the north and Costa Rica to the south, with coastline on the Caribbean Sea and Pacific Ocean. A very wide gap between rich and poor contributes to economic and social tensions throughout the country.

Nicaragua’s economy relies primarily on the production and processing of coffee, beef, shrimp, and lobster. Most rural citizens rely on farming to make a living, although the land they work is usually owned by one of the country’s wealthy elite. Very high levels of international debt make sustained economic growth difficult and unlikely.

Plan currently works with 30,000 children and their families in Nicaragua, promoting education and health care for children. Except in emergency situations, Plan does not provide direct assistance. Instead, we help communities develop, grow and, ultimately, support themselves.

Hear from the children

An essential part of Plan's work is empowering children to discuss the issues that matter to them and to take part in decisions that affect their lives. To help you learn about these issues, the children in Plan communities have put together a series of publications called "See Our World": Read what the children have to say about their lives.