Nicaragua is the least densely populated nation in Central America and became an independent republic in its own right in 1838.
- Capital: Managua (it is the only major city)
- Currency: Cordoba
- Population: 5,992 millions (2012) Banco Mundial
- President: Daniel Ortega
- Government: Unitary State, Presidential System, Republic
- Official Language: Spanish
- Labor force – by occupation: Agriculture 28%, Industry 19%, Services: 53%
- Around 17% of Land is used for Agriculture.
- Religion:Catholics are 58.5% Protestants are 23.2%
- Nicaragua is the poorest country in Central America and the second poorest in the Continent.
Religion is a significant part of the culture of Nicaragua and forms part of the constitution. Religious freedom, which has been guaranteed since 1939, and religious tolerance is promoted by both the Nicaraguan government and the constitution. The Spanish Catholic reforms prior to 1517, the Spanish Inquisition, and the Spanish Conquistadores immunized the New World, therefore Nicaragua, from the overarching effects of the Reformation. Nicaragua has never experienced the political, social, and most importantly the spiritual transformation of a reformation and therefore has never known what true spiritual revival and renewal is.
Most localities, from the capital of Managua to small rural communities, honor patron saints, selected from the Roman Catholic calendar, with annual fiestas. The high point of Nicaragua’s religious calendar for the masses is neither Christmas nor Easter, but La Purísima, a week of festivities in early December dedicated to the Virgin Mary.
Nicaragua needs missionaries that carry on the Powerful Word of God to bring down the false teachings in every aspect, social, cultural and religious. They need the Word of God opened, read, and studied.
We encourage you to prepare spiritually, mentally and physically so you can be a huge instrument of God to bring the truth of the Gospel and at the same time you will be better prepared to preach the gospel to your own family and community. That is the adventure.
Spiritual Preparations Before the Trip
“… After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldy. ”
We ask you to please do not take this trip lightly. As I am sure that the Lord can use it to change your view and to gain wisdom in every areas. That is why we require that each member of the STMT Group must:
- Be prepared spiritually before the trip, solving any problem that he/she may have in his/her life, leaving everything in the hands of Christ.
- Be in constant prayer as a team.
- Read this handbook.
- Read and complete the study of Nehemiah. We believe that God will change your view of missions through this study. It will be required to go through the entire material before leaving the country. Have consistent devotional and orientation time before the trip.
- During the trip all team members will have devotions (make sure to bring your Bible, notebook and pen) each day before starting the work throughout the length of their stay in Nicaragua. The devotion will be led by the Pastors or Elders of the Petra Churches. It is very important to clarify that it will not be a time for personal counseling, it will be a time for the health and growth of the entire team during their stay and beyond, according to Ephesian 4:11-16.
- Be open to all kinds of work and ways of serving during the mission trip making everything for the Lord. Col 3:23-24.Each team that has come to work with Petra Nicaragua has given testimony that the time of devotions in Nicaragua has been the most beneficial and rewarding part of the entire trip.
- Always be aware that the missions are a means that God uses for our sanctification, therefore, the focus of any service must be focused on our heart, not in our abilities.
- We have to understand that the real need of any person is in their hearts (their personal relationship with Jesus Christ) not what our human senses perceived is their need.
What to Bring
- The prescription medicines you take every day. Keep them in their original prescription bottles and always in your carry-on luggage. More info here.
- Medicine for diarrhea.
- A typical pack list would include tylenol, ibuprofen or both, an allegery medicine of your choice, the antibiotic ciprofloxacin for intestinal issues, zithromax (z-pack) for sinus infection, triple antibiotic ointment, hydrocortisone cream, benadryl, band aids and perhaps some pepto bismo tablets.
Pack as light as possible, saving space in additional bags for supplies, equipment and others.
- In general bring modest attire for church service in Managua – long pants and collared shirt for example for men. Otherwise, assume it will be very hot and humid.
- Shorts, short sleeve shirts, comfortable shoes, a swimsuit and water sandals should cover the basics.
- Sunblock and sunglasses.
- Antibacterial hand wipes or alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol.
- Insect repellent
- Light and easily packable snacks
Health Information and Vaccinations
It is recommended to be up to date on the following vaccines:
- MMR (measles/mumps/rubella)
- DPT (diphtheria/pertussis/tetanus)
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis BEntry and Stay Requirements
- You must have a valid U.S. passport to enter Nicaragua, although there is a bilateral agreement which waives the six-month passport validity requirement, U.S. citizens should ensure that their passports are valid for the entire length of their projected stay in the country before traveling.
- U.S. citizen visitors must have an onward or return ticket and evidence of sufficient funds to support themselves during their stay.
- U.S. citizens do not need a visa; however, a tourist card must be purchased for $10 upon arrival.
- You must have a valid entry stamp (typically valid for 30 to 90 days) in your passport in order to exit Nicaragua.
- There is also a $32 departure tax. Many airlines include this tax in the price of the ticket. If the tax is not included in the ticket, payment can be made at the airline counter upon departure.
It is recommended to take the vitamins before and aſter the trip: B6, B12, D3 500, garlic pills, Vit. C, 500 mg.
Handy tips for travelers
- Always carry your passport and keep a photocopy of it in a separate place.
- It is recommended to use a “kangaroo” or belt to carry money.
- It is important for the Mission Leader to know the name of the Hotel where the team is staying, and important phone numbers. Please take note of the following numbers.Area code: 011-505 (If calling from U.S.)Gabriela Aguilar (Project Coordinator) 8928-5161 Hamilton Rizo (Pastor of Petra Managua) 8920-0398 Arnold Sarria (Pastor of Petra Matagalpa) 8368-5951 Francisco Sarria (Pastor of Petra Chinandega) 8444-3513 Edwin Escobar (Pastor of Petra Balgue) 8845-0626 Aarón Ruiz (Pastor of Petra Mérida) 8373-7126Hotel Barceló Managua: 2280-9810
- Inform previously if you suffer from critical illnesses or allergies.
- Do not exchange money on the street.
- Stay in the team
- Minor missionaries should always be under the guard of an adult.