UNM, ASU, and UC-Berkeley Partner to Rebuild a Women's Medical Recovery House in Nicaragua

February 10, 2014

Pueblo Nuevo has a government health clinic that serves the 16 surrounding villages. The clinic provides vital services to the community, including support and care for women through the process of giving birth. Prior to arriving at the clinic, many women must walk up two to three days to get to Pueblo Nuevo and then stay at the adjacent house for a time before and after giving birth. These women are forced to carry a supply of food to sustain them for the entirety of the journey as well as the time they remain in the house, as it currently lacks a basic food source.

Tragically, the current conditions of the recovery house are very poor because it lacks adequate bedding, space, electricity, food and warmth. This is not conducive to the health of the women and their newborn babies. Thus, action must be taken as soon as possible to improve these present conditions.

Nourish International Chapters at Arizona State University, University of New Mexico and UC Berkeley are partnering with the Foundation for the Autonomy and Development of the Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua (FADCANIC) to rebuild a women's recovery house, Casa Materna, in the town of Pueblo Nuevo, Nicaragua. The main goal of FADCANIC is to promote the autonomy of the Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua and encourage the success of indigenous and ethnic communities throughout the region by developing and fostering positive social, economic, cultural and political relations.

Matías Fontenla, associate professor of economics and assistant director, Latin American & Iberian Institute, has had UNM student groups work with Nourish International on a variety of projects.

Through rebuilding Casa Materna, a local women's medical recovery house in Pueblo Nuevo, we hope to ensure and improve the wellbeing of women in Nicaragua while strengthening their local communities.

In this project, by demolishing and rebuilding the house, we will support the livelihoods of local people for current and future generations. With adequate health care, the women of these communities and their children can live a more comfortable, productive and healthy life. Not only will the Casa Materna improve the health of women and their newborn babies, but it can also house other members of the communities that have visited the clinic Pueblo Nuevo for other ailments. Additionally, we will be working with the community to implement sustainable food systems for the house, to keep it stocked with food staples such as rice and beans. Through future projects we also hope to work with the community to gain sustainable energy sources to support Casa Materna and Pueblo Nuevo.

Overall, with better care and support from the start, the infants and their mothers will no longer struggle for survival and can focus more on the new life they bring to their communities and the world. All it takes is a small donation to turn these plans into a reality, and help improve the lives of hundreds of mothers and their newborns living in and around Pueblo Nuevo.

The group needs to raise $5,000 to make this important change. Consider donating today, and help contribute to the overall goal of improving the wellbeing of women in Nicaragua while strengthening their local communities.