Population: 5.9 million (2011)
Official language: Spanish
Major religion: Christianity
IFES movement: Comunidad de Estudiantes Cristianos de Nicaragua (CECNIC)
Nicaragua has a multi-ethnic population, roughly a quarter of whom live in the capital city. Religious freedom is guaranteed; the majority of Nicaraguans would still call themselves Roman Catholics but evangelical Christianity has seen rapid growth in recent years.
Nicaragua has seen a major literacy campaign in the last 30 years and the national literacy rate is now 70%.
- 50 official universities, 8 with CECNIC groups
- 1 full-time, 1 part-time worker, 8 volunteers
- graduates ministry: 15 members meet regularly and help the movement
- largest CECNIC presence in the National University of Nicaragua: 6 groups
- pioneering work in the National Agrarian Institute
CECNIC staff are excited to see God’s hand at work in their ministry through the emergence of new workers and student leaders who are passionate about and dream of a movement that will change lives, contribute to society, and extend God’s kingdom. They have also recently acquired an office, and are now planning how to use it to reach more students.
View from the inside
Shirley Alvarado Cruz is the General Secretary of CECNIC. She says, ‘Finding God at university has given me a sense of service, commitment, passion - and given meaning to my life. CECNIC has helped make me the person I am today, as I learn each day to acknowledge that it is by God’s grace I am sustained, not by my own strength. That grace holding me is what keeps me standing through all challenges.’
Shirley is encouraged in her ministry by Romans 8.11: ‘And if the spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his spirit who lives in you.’
- for integrity in students’ lives, which will lead them to a genuine commitment that transforms their lives and those of others;
- for volunteer staff workers to become financially self-sustaining, so they can provide discipleship, training and pastoral care for many more students;
- for two major sub-regional meetings taking place in Nicaragua in the next two years.