The fate of Nicaragua’s education system has been tied up in the country’s tumultuous recent history. Here’s what you need to know.
Long-term difficulties in education
As one of the poorest countries in Latin America, Nicaragua has traditionally struggled to invest sufficiently in its education system. Investment increased under the Sandinista government, which came to power after the revolution in 1979, but significant issues remain.
One of the biggest problems is that poverty pushes children away from school and into the labour market. This is an issue all over Nicaragua, but it’s particularly pronounced in rural areas and the isolated provinces on the Atlantic coast. For example, figures cited by The Guardian reveal that in the city of Bluefields only 6% of children from the poorest families finished secondary school.
Changing attitudes among public university students
Current president Daniel Ortega, a former revolutionary leader, has prioritised spending on primary and tertiary education. This means that attendance and facilities are even worse in secondary schools. However, it has traditionally meant that those who do make it to university are fairly supportive of the government.
That said, the protests of April 2018 revealed a shift. Students from public universities turned into a significant driving force behind the anti-Ortega protests, joining forces with retirees who would have been hit by the proposed pension reform, which sparked outrage. Experts believe that the hastily withdrawn proposals succeeded in uniting various groups in a wave of anti-Ortega demonstrations.
What comes next?
At the time of writing, the protests are developing fast, and it’s hard to know what will happen next. However, it appears that civil society in Nicaragua has turned a corner, bringing students to the streets to demand Ortega’s resignation and significant reforms for the country.
If the government does fall, education will be a hugely important area for the next administration to address. Hopefully, Nicaragua can come up with the funds and policies necessary to fix its education system and improve prospects for its young population.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.