Surfing Nahua is proud of Nicaraguan women and does not want to support them only on international women’s day, the 8th of March, but always… Why? You probably would not expect Nicaragua, a third world country, to be one of the leaders in feminism. But wow it is true! Nicaragua has a 10th place in the gender gap 2016. Did you know Nicaragua is the only country worldwide having over 50% female elected muni leaders?

sunset northern nicaragua

Nicaragua has a lot of female mayors and most of them are operating in political empowerment. This all goes back to the revolution. During this period of time a lot of Nicaraguan women joined the Sandinista movement (against the Somoza dictatorship). They were emerged as active participants and/or leaders and the level of involvement was indescribable in the history of independence struggles. Women made up almost 30% of the army and became very important in the success of the revolution. They filled positions as organizers, supporters, communications, persuaders and etcetera. They got the chance to develop their independence and voice. Nicaraguan women actually fought a double battle, for national freedom and for gender equality. Despite the Sandinista government providing the women instant emancipation, Nicaraguan women were then empowered to conquer any feminist challenge in the future.

A good example and the most popular public figure is: Aminta Granera. Aminta is from a wealthy family in the colonial city of Leon. She had the chance to attend the Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. However after two years she decided to become a nun. She went to the convent of the Sisters of the Assumption in Guatemala City to begin her novitiate, but in 1979 she abandoned her religious training to join the Sandinista. After the successful overthrow of Somoza, she became a cop and helped setting up special units to combat violence against women, crime against children and fought police corruption. In 2011 the center-right predecessor to Sandinista President Daniel Ortega named Granera Director General of the National Police of Nicaragua. During her five years of being chief, the police has seized 50 tons of cocaine, $25 million in cash, 1,200 weapons, 1,400 vehicles, 180 boats, 18 aircraft and 128 properties. “We are the smallest police force in Central America, with the lowest salaries, but with the best results of any in the region,” Granera said in an interview. That is quite impressive, right? Not only Surfing Nahua respects her also many other people view Granera as honest, fair and incorruptible.

However in daily life values, beliefs and social customs between different sexes are largely in tact and most of the women have to undergo the pain and suffer of being a woman. They still have to deal with sexual harassment, double workdays and low wages. Even at this moment most of the girls in Nicaragua are under educated and almost 30% live below the poverty line. Of course we hope the political gains are a good starting point for helping all women moving up the social ladder.

But, every little bit helps. So with these facts in mind, Surfing Nahua wants to support a better future for women and extend a financial helping hand towards some of the ambitious local girls in the area. Surfing Nahua started the project with: Marjorie and Masiel.

Marjorie:“I started working as a receptionist for Century21 (now Surfing Nahua) in 2007. I finished High School and Accounting Technical. Secondly, I started studying Law at the University. At that time I worked Monday to Friday in the office and followed Law classes on Saturday. Century21- Surfing Nahua offered me an extra English course on Sunday and paid the course for me. In 2009 I started working as a Rental agent at Century21, but in 2012 I promoted and became the office manage. Eventually, I finished my bachelor Law within six years. Two years ago Century21 helped me to complete an International Diploma Program in Business Administration for Lawyers in INCAE (Latin America Business school) in Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama & EEUU (Georgetown University, Washington) and at the moment I am studying the Master Degree in Business Law in Leon. Last year I also started to work as an Attorney/ Legal adviser for our clients and the office. However ten years from where I started, I reached all the goals I aimed for. I am studying, own a business, married Jorge Andrade and we have a beautiful house. And most important, Century21 – Surfing Nahua has been part of each success! In particular Barry Oliver has contributed in my entire daily learning in an integral way. I am so blessed to be part of Surfing-Nahua family and I’m more than grateful.”

Masiel: Masiel has been the secretary of Surfing Nahua since 3 years. Last year she started studying English, financed by Surfing Nahua. She is married, lives in Chinandega and has two kids.

But also at this moment we support some ambitious girls in the area. Meet Ana Janci Martines, 18 years old and lives in Comarca Manzano #2 (daughter of Nelson Martines, surfing Nahua’s care taker). She always desires improvement and personal development. Her dream is to go to university and become a nurse. This is not only for herself but also to be able to help her community. However, for a lot of girls in Nicaragua it is difficult to go to University, not only moneywise, but also because of passion, desires and culture. Surfing Nahua believes that a real striver deserves a better chance. Therefore Surfing Nahua will support Ana by paying her University UCAN in Chinandega and help her with her expenses (such as bus tickets, food, books, etc.) to be able to stay true to her idealistic mind-set and to make her beautiful dream comes true.

surfing nahua women project ana

We are super proud of all these women and hope we can support many more. Do you also think all Nicaraguan women deserve an equal chance? Contact Surfing Nahua and help us support these amazing girls. Because, a better future starts with them!