Team Nicaragua is ready to get to work! We’ve been in Managua for a few days now and have had a chance to check out a few local places, get to know the lay of the land, meet some local Nicaraguans, and get ready for our project these next two weeks.
At our Orientation on Sunday morning, it was great to finally put names to faces! We got to meet Kristin Rosenow, Head of Programs for CRS Nicaragua, as well as David, one of our interpreters, and Juan Carlos, Santos, and Jorge who spoke to us about their experiences working with Nicaraguan cooperatives and the microfinance opportunities here. Our conversation was incredibly informative, and we walked away with a new understanding of Nicaraguan cooperatives. When we finished our conversation, we went down to Puerto Salvador Allende for a delicious lunch.
After our group lunch, we headed back to the hotel to talk about our findings from our first day of meetings. We were pretty excited about the information we discussed and were looking forward to our meetings set up for the next day.
Our second day with CRS was extremely insightful. We were able to talk with CRS and Root Capital about the current state of microfinance in Nicaragua, as well as available microfinance opportunities within agriculture. In addition, we spoke with several CRS partner organizations regarding cooperative structures, management, and best practices. The information was helpful in thinking about how to structure our future conversations with cooperative managers, farmer-members, and financial institutions. We’re very excited for the next few days as we head out into the fields. One team is heading northeast to Siuna while the other team is headed north to Matagalpa to meet with cooperatives and farmer-members. We’ll update you soon!!!