Wisconsin and Nicaragua are partners. For fifty years, programs have provided assistance to people in Nicaragua of all ages. Programs help with natural resources and cultural diversity, with health and education.

For fifty years, the Wisconsin/ Nicaragua partnership has shown that working together brings good results.

Wisconsin and Nicaragua have commonalities:

++Each approximately 57,000 square miles

++Extensive stretches of coastline

++Large inland lake

++Valuable forest areas

++Agricultural production

The headquarters are in Nelson Hall of UWSP campus, Stevens Point. There is also a warehouse in Stevens Point that collects materials for Nicaragua. For more information go to www.wisnic.org

Since 1965 thousands of people have helped directly or indirectly to turn the vision of partnership into a reality. The people of Wisconsin work with many leaders and volunteers of Nicaragua to develop skills for a better future.

The Global Garden Program helps people in rural and urban plant gardens and learn to compost. They also learn new ways to cook healthy meals.

2. Music and English classes are taught at the Managua, Nicaragua Office as part of the Learning Center. Recorders and guitars and other musical instruments have been sent to Nicaragua. Learning centers and libraries have been opened in rural areas as well. The local people treasure their chance to check out books from the library.

3. Learning Centers offer other classes as well: sewing, handcrafts, knitting, embroidery, jewelry, bakery classes, fruit and vegetable dehydration, building kitchen stoves and chimneys as well as cutting hair.

Nicaraguans are able to learn new skills and start their own small businesses. This is a way for the local people to go from poverty to a life where they can afford education.

Wisconsin people have donated and transported sewing machines, craft supplies, fabric and other needed supplies.

4. Eyeglass Project: Each year the Wisconsin Lions Camp in Rosholt, Wisconsin send refurbished eye glasses to Nicaragua. Nearly 10,000 people are examined and fitted with eyeglasses annually.

5. Business training: The training sessions cover what is a business, writing a business plan, how to sell the product and how to maintain a business. This training has allowed many Nicaraguans to go from poverty to a decent living which allows them to send their children to school for a brighter future.

6. Annual Bike/Hike Event. This is for Wisconsin and Nicaraguan people to do right in their own home town. The participants strive to collectively complete a total of 2350 miles during the month of October, which is the distance between Wisconsin and Nicaragua.

Participants choose a goal of miles and complete them by walking, running or biking. This is a great way to spread the word about the wonderful partnership Wisconsin and Nicaragua have maintained for 50 years.

A variety of trips to Nicaragua are available for volunteers interested in learning more about the partnership.

To learn more, go to www.wisnic.org.

You can sign up for their monthly e-newsletter: wnp@uwsp.edu