CEPAD was founded by Dr. Gustavo Parajon on December 23, 1972, to provide emergency response after a large earthquake hit Nicaragua. From 1972-1979, CEPAD shifted from emergency work to development work, but continued to help during natural disasters and peace negotiations as was needed.
CEPAD currently works in programs of sustainable agriculture, economic development for women, psychosocial attention, community organization and training, strengthening of pastoral leadership, exchanges between delegations and partnerships, and education from a faith-based perspective. In addition, CEPAD runs a Christian radio station and attends to immigrants and refugees from other countries who are traveling through Nicaragua.
CEPAD was formed on the basis of Jesus’ mission through Galilee, ministering to the marginalized in their needs and advocating for justice. In the same way, CEPAD walks alongside those in rural communities who have been oppressed for many years without the opportunities to own land, get an advanced eduction, or receive proper medical attention.
CEPAD aspires to:
- Proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ as Jesus did throughout Galilee, training community leaders and providing ways for Nicaraguans to better their way of life. “Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people.” Matthew 4:23
- Radically transform lives through the formation of values such as what it means to love and teach others as an expression of their love for God. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” Deuteronomy 6:5-7
- Transform lives by working against society to change and better the way of rural Nicaraguan life. “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is-his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2
- Serve and influence the poorest and neediest in Nicaragua. “Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave-just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:26-28
- Provide a better way of life through trainings to improve the development of people and communities so they can enjoy the life God has given them. “For as the days of a tree, so will be the days of my people; my chosen ones will long enjoy the work of their hands.” Isaiah 65:22b
During these 46 years, CEPAD has walked alongside more than 4,000 communities in every department of the country.
With the help of God, we will continue.