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La Fundadora, Nicaragua


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General Information

Population* 7,156
Number of Houses 230
Avg # of people per home 12
Electricity Yes, from the national service
Municipality Jinotega
Department Jinotega
Health Center Built in 1990 by the government and remodeled in 2009
Distance from compounds 2 hr
Road conditions N/A

* Population does not reflect how many patients will be seen on Medical
Brigades as many people from surrounding communities come seeking
Medical Brigades medical attention.


Top Needs Expressed


• Resources for the Health Center

• Latrines



Agriculture is the main source of economic activity in La Fundadora. The majority of employment opportunities are seasonal, and there are little opportunities for permanent work. At any given time, 50% of the residents of La Fundadora are unemployed. A nearby coffee farm called Santa Ana employs many men in the community from November to February. This yields approximately 100 Córdobas each day, amounting to roughly $100 each month.


Families typically aren’t able to make enough money each month to save for future projects or emergencies. As families typically average 6-7 people with one source of income, all monthly funds are used to purchase food such as fruits, vegetables and livestock. 


Background Information:

In the La Fundadora community, there is a preschool, primary school and a secondary school, and Sabatino for those who work and study. The preschool, primary, and secondary school are all one school, built in 2013 by the Mayor of Jinotega. The students attend February to December with a week off for Holy week and two weeks off in June. It is a public school. They pay for their own uniforms. The Ministry of Education pays for their shoes and materials. The school is walking distance for everyone who lives in the community. Only a few come from other communities either by bus or walking.


Preschool & Primary Education:

La Fundadora has 39 students whom attend preschool and 146 whom students attend primary. Primary school is held from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., Monday through Friday.  The primary school covers grades 1-6 and has four teachers and classrooms to utilize. The preschool has two teachers and classrooms to utilize.


Secondary Education:

Secondary education in La Fundadora covers 7th to 9th grades. After completing primary school, most students do continue on to 7th grade. Secondary school was not implemented until 2012 in La Fundadora, but is now held from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., Monday thru Friday. 43 students attend secondary school. Secondary education only continues through the 9th grade because there are not enough students, teachers, or space available to continue onward. There are 3 teachers, and each one specializes in 3 subjects.


Three Main Problems/Needs:

  1. Lack of supplies and technology: general materials and computers
  2. More space: classrooms, storage space, and office for the principal
  3. Insufficient facilities: 5 of their 6 ecological bathrooms are functional, but all are unsanitary. The school would greatly benefit by having more latrines.


Common Illnesses:

Major Health Problems: urinary tract infections (80%), parasites (80%), migraines (70%), high blood pressure (60% of ages 35 and up), cough (50%), fungus (30%), diarrhea (20%), epilepsy (15%), diabetes (20% of ages 50 and up), asthma (most common), heart problems, arthritis


Health Center:

La Fundadora does have a health center, although it mostly treats basic illnesses and is under resourced. The health center has 9 rooms but only 3 are utilized due to a lack of staff, which consists of 1 doctor and 2 nurses. Ms. Lesbiac, a nurse working in the health center, sees between 35 and 60 patients each day.  People from 19 other communities use this health center. Some patients take the bus while others walk. Some individuals travel from a half hour up to 3 hours to get to the health center.


The health center is in need of much more medication and currently lacks medication to combat parasites and allergies, among other things. When she does not have the medications for a patient in need she sends them to a pharmacy within the community to purchase the medication. Unfortunately, a lot of the patients cannot afford the medications so they do not purchase them. The local pharmacy provides free medication for fungal infections. Ms. Lesbiac states she tries not to let patients leave the health center empty handed.


Main Problems/Needs:

  1. Widespread UTIs and Parasites
  2. Medications because a lack of proper medication leads to a lack of patients seeking treatment
  3. Proper clothing for nurses

There are approximately 160 homes in La Fundadora. Of the houses, approximately 150 have running water inside. However, the majority of these homes only have water at certain times of the day and often go several days without running water. Among the families that do not have running water, there are several community houses with multiple families living inside that use a public, outside water source.


The community has had a public water source for 20 years, with three pilas that provide purification and drainage. Of the three, two pilas are used for drainage, and the one smaller pila provides chlorination. All community members have access to this water and each family pays 20 córdoba per month to be able to use it. The water system was updated seven years ago, and is currently in a relatively good state.

Two houses in total have showers located inside, and 5 houses have toilets inside. The rest of the households use latrines. These latrines have been around for two years, but are in good condition. Many families have large sinks mostly made of stone. There is no public washing station. When asked about lavanderos, community members said that they would be beneficial, but cost is a concern for them.


Main Problems/Needs:

  1. Water system is unreliable
  2. Showers
  3. Latrines