Despite continual warfare between the Sandinista regime and the Nicaraguan freedom fighters, an anonymous source from inside the Central American nation says life is not as bleak as some claim.
Civil war is usually accompanied by starvation, malnutrition, and abuse, but the capital city of Managua and the outlying areas are considerably stable. There is still private ownership, but a constant fear of government confiscation is a threat to anyone who may disregard a Sandinista decree.
Sixty percent of production must be sold to the government at officially set prices. The purchase of raw materials is also sanctioned by the government, so unregulated private enterprise is minimal on any scale.
All prices are set by the government, including prices of food served in restaurants. Businesses with unlicensed goods are forcibly closed down unless they are part of the “official” blackmarket economy which requires sufficient volume to bribe officials.
Churches are free to meet and to evangelize. However, buildings or any social help (orphanages, self-help, schools, etc.) are systematically monitored by the government. Despite the regulation, there are a surprising number of concessions made to individuals who provide legitimate social services, especially those which the government is not providing.
The Sandinista government, under the leadership of Daniel Ortega, is in considerable debt due to its war with the resistance. Consequently, the government is not able to keep up with its goals of providing education to the public. This has been a particularly promising opportunity for Christian schools to step in and serve.
There are an estimated 40 schools in the Managua area and another 30 to 40 in the outlying areas. An additional 100 or more schools have either started or will be started soon.
“(Christian) schools are popping up all over the place,” our source related, “but most of the schools have little idea what they are doing.” The source requested that Christians in the U.S. pray and support the Christian school movement in Nicaragua.