From Violence to Safety: Your help for Refugees

Gang violence in countries like El Salvador and Honduras has created a refugee problem for families in Central America. Many go to Nicaragua where your support of CEPAD means they can start over without fear. Karla is one of those affected by this violence.

Nicaragua is the second poorest country in the Western Hemisphere while also being one of the safest countries in Central America. The most common cause for fear and insecurity in Nicaragua is petty theft caused by poverty and lack of adequate jobs.

Things are different in neighboring countries such as Honduras and El Salvador. Unlike in Nicaragua, large parts–or all parts, some argue–of Honduras and El Salvador are controlled by gangs. Each gang has control over a particular area, and when other gang members intrude into their sector, firefights and violence occurs.

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Support For Refugees Helps At Risk Families Start Anew

Nicaragua’s neighbors Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, experience daily violence, institutional corruption and the myriad effects of drug trafficking and gang activity. A partnership between CEPAD and the United Nations helps dozens of refugee families make new homes in Nicaragua as they flee violence and poverty in their home countries.

CEPAD became the U.N.’s Nicaraguan partner to assist with refugee placement in 1979. We work with the U.N. and the Nicaraguan government to provide refugees, typically families, with orientation to the country, basic material supplies like clothes and rent money, spiritual and psychological support, and help with the asylum process.

“At the moment of arrival there was confusion, fear and uncertainty to know we would start our new life here in Nicaragua without knowing anyone and with few economic resources,” said the father of one of the families CEPAD helped in 2013. “But we stayed strong as a family because we had one another, and this helped us search for a way to lift up our circumstances.”Now, that man and his wife and four children live safely in Nicaragua and run a business in a small city. He said they are grateful to CEPAD for making their transition smooth.

The U.N.’s Refugee Agency predicts the number of refugees fleeing certain Latin American countries will increase this year because of rising levels of criminal activity. CEPAD is proud to help provide resources and support to refugees who come here seeking hope after years of living under constant threat of violence.