holistic development

Where We Work / Nicaragua / Communities / Las Mangas «

Las Mangas, Nicaragua


Architecture 2014 Icon Small Grey.png Business 2014 Icon Small Grey.png Dental 2014 Icon Small Grey.png Environmental 2014 Icon Small Grey.png Human Rights 2014 Icon Small Grey.png Medical 2014 Icon Small.png Microfinance 2014 Icon Small Grey.png Public Health 2014 Icon Small Grey.png Water 2014 Icon Small Grey.pngClick on Programs to learn more about their work in this community



General Information

Population* 1800
Number of Houses 300
Avg # of people per home 6
Electricity  Yes
Municipality San Isidro
Department Matagalpa
Health Center Yes
Distance from compounds  90 minutes
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

  •  Access to medications
  • Improved housing conditions

Common medical conditions found in Las Mangas are parasites, diarrhea, bronchitis, pneumonia, hypertension, diabetes, urinary tract infections, and conjunctivitis. All children in the community receive vaccinations, anti-parasitic medication, and vitamins annually.


Health Center

The health center in Las Mangas serves around 3,600 people from Las Mangas and smaller, surrounding communities. The staff consists of one doctor and two nurses. The medical center also provides prenatal care for women and provides general advice for the duration of the pregnancy.


All houses in Las Mangas have access to running water, thanks to a newly completed government water project. Prior to this project, the community had a water system installed by UNICEF, but had a lot of problems with water contamination due to the location of the well. The area surrounding the community contains gold mines, and activity from the mines contaminated the ground water, affecting the well.


In 2014, the Nicaraguan government sponsored a new water project that has been providing the community with clean water. An electrical pump transfers water from a 60-meter deep well to a 30,000-gallon capacity tank. Gravity then carries water from the tank to all of the community’s households. There is a chlorine drip in place to sanitize the water, and water quality is tested every 3 months by MINSA. The pump operates all day to fill the tank, which has to be refilled twice a day in order to support the water usage of the community. This project has been given a 20-year life span; however, if the community grows to 400 households before then, it will no longer be able to support the entire community. The system cost C$1.2 million, and the government sponsored C$0.5 million of the costs. The community provided the rest in the form of labor as well as limited cash contributions. 




The most common source of income comes from agriculture. The most abundant agriculture products are rice, beans, corn, and wheat.  Loans are very difficult to acquire for members of the community. One community leader explained that the only loans accessible to members of the community were small government loans for woman seeking to establish small business such as bakeries, tortilla sales, and small shops. 


Waste disposal is an issue in Las Mangas. There is no trash collection program so community members either burn or bury their trash. Some familes separate out organic waste for composting, but most trash in the communityis burned.


 Las Mangas does have community clean up events that are hosted regularly to gather trash around the community. Unfortunately, there is nowhere to deposit the gathered trash so the community will end up burning or burying what they collect. Talks about water conservation are hosted frequently to encourage community members to be mindful of their water usage.  One good practice found throughout the community is Water is reusing water to wash clothing, water plants, and for cleaning purposes. 



Las Mangas has both a primary and secondary school. The primary school serves grades preschool through 6th grade, while the secondary school teaches 7th through 11th grades. The school is in session from 7:15 am to 12:15 pm. The school year runs from February to December.4