By |2020-04-30T15:30:19-04:00May 3, 2018|

active projects
April 2020


IAF investment


people benefiting

Contacts for Nicaragua

Foundation Representative

Gabriela Boyer

Program Assistant

Maggie Reuter

Local Liaison

Gustavo Santos

Country Strategy

Nicaragua faces historic and deep-rooted poverty, made worse by the country’s ongoing sociopolitical crisis. It is also vulnerable to natural disasters including drought, hurricanes, and earthquakes. Our grantee partners expand economic opportunity, enhance peace and security, improve democratic governance, and reduce the motivation to migrate. 

We invest in local organizations that expand access to credit and markets, develop small businesses, and mobilize local resources for development. Our grantee partners work with underserved groups in 9 of the country’s 15 departments, including indigenous people, women, people with disabilities, and young people.

We awarded our first grant in Nicaragua in 1972. Since then, we have provided $44 million through 227 grants to local organizations.

Projects in Nicaragua

ordered by most recently awarded


2016-Juan 23

Asociación Roncalli-Juan XXIII (Juan 23) finances the construction of homes through its loan guarantee fund to increase access to home ownership in urban and rural areas.

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Cooperativa de Servicios Múltiples Ríos de Agua Viva 21 de Junio R.L. (RAV) helps farmers increase crop yields using sustainable and ecologically sound practices, improve processing and product quality and expand their access to domestic and export markets.

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Centro Especializado de Atención a la Mujer (CEAMUJER) provides technical assistance for women to develop skills in leadership and violence prevention and promotes gender equality and economic independence for women.

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Asociación Centro Jurídico Popular (CJP) encourages young people to launch or strengthen small businesses and provides technical and financial assistance for them to develop skills in citizenship, conflict resolution, communication and advocacy.

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2015-Nidia White

Asociación Movimiento de Mujeres Nidia White (Nidia White) provides technical assistance for women to develop skills in financial independence and raises awareness to prevent family violence.

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Asociación de Cooperativas de Pequeños Productores de Café de Nicaragua (CAFENICA) provides technical assistance and credit to farmers to help increase their production and income for their families.

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Asociación Para el Desarrollo Integral de la Mujer (APADIEM) works to identify income-producing activities that improve the quality of life for these residents.

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Centro de Comunicación y Educación Popular Cantera (CANTERA) provides technical assistance and entrepreneurship support for at-risk young people to develop small business initiatives and engage in community development.

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2013-Aldea Global

Asociacion Aldea Global Jinotega (Aldea Global) helps farmers — especially women — become more efficient and competitive in providing credit, marketing goods and controlling the quality of production.

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Staff working with projects in Nicaragua

Recent News and Stories

Frequently asked questions

Who governs the IAF?2018-08-17T13:44:23-04:00

The Inter-American Foundation (IAF) is governed by a nine-person board of directors appointed by the president of the United States and confirmed by the Senate. Six members of the board are drawn from the private sector and three from the federal government. The board appoints a president who serves as the IAF’s chief executive officer.

How is the IAF funded?2018-08-17T13:44:22-04:00

Congress annually appropriates funds for use by the IAF pursuant to the Foreign Assistance Act of 1969, as amended. The IAF’s other primary funding source is the Social Progress Trust Fund administered by the Inter-American Development Bank and consisting of repayments of loans originally made by the U.S. government under the Alliance for Progress to various Latin American and Caribbean governments. The IAF accepts donations for projects in the region.

How is the IAF different?2018-08-17T13:44:21-04:00
  • A value-driven mandate allows the IAF to support programs that promote entrepreneurship, self-reliance and democratic principles as well as economic progress for the poor.
  • Responsiveness to the ideas of organized people drives IAF’s work.
  • A focus on innovation and experimentation makes the IAF a pioneer in the development assistance community.
  • A bipartisan public-private governing structure assures the IAF benefits from entrepreneurial experience and works toward the long-term national interest.
  • A lean operating structure keeps overhead to a minimum and maximizes program returns.
What is grassroots development?2018-08-17T13:44:21-04:00

The IAF uses the term “grassroots development” to describe the process by which disadvantaged people organize themselves to improve the social, cultural and economic well-being of their families, communities and societies. This concept is based on the premise that the key to sustainable democracies, equitable societies and prosperous economies is a people-oriented strategy that stresses participation, organizational development and networking.

What are IAF’s guiding principles?2018-08-17T13:44:21-04:00
  • Support people, organizations and processes.
  • Channel funds directly to nongovernmental organizations.
  • Promote entrepreneurship, innovation and self-reliance.
  • Strengthen democratic principles.
  • Empower poor people to take the initiative in solving their problems.
  • Treat partners with respect and dignity.
What has the IAF done?2018-08-17T13:44:20-04:00

The IAF has been a leader in helping grassroots initiatives gain recognition as a critical factor in the sustainable development of Latin America and the Caribbean. Since 1972, the IAF has awarded more than 5,200 grants totaling about $730 million to support more than 4,000 organizations. Many grants went to grassroots organizations such as agricultural cooperatives or small urban enterprises; others were awarded to larger intermediary organizations that provided community groups with credit, technical assistance, training and marketing assistance. The largest portion of IAF funding has been invested in enterprise development, followed by food production and agriculture, education, training, and eco-development. Together the IAF and its grantees have tested cost-effective, participatory models for social and economic development. These models have been replicated and expanded by government and larger donor agencies improving conditions for hundreds of thousands of poor families throughout the hemisphere.

What are the results of IAF funding?2018-08-17T13:44:20-04:00

Grassroots development works. It not only engages poor people in improving their conditions but also fosters responsible citizenship. To gauge the impact of its investment, the IAF systematically tracks the results of its projects by using a conceptual grassroots development framework. This measures tangible results of projects and assesses the civic capacity of individuals, organizations and communities

How can the IAF do so much with so little?2018-08-17T13:44:20-04:00
  • It knows how to select its partners. The IAF supports grassroots groups with a track record in participatory self-help activities, who are willing to invest and risk their own resources.
  • It responds to local initiatives. The IAF does not design or impose projects; instead, it builds upon the ideas and commitment of local people.
  • It encourages processes that are sustainable, either with revenue generated by grantees or with resources leveraged from private and public sectors.
  • It supports innovative approaches that are replicable, allowing the IAF to increase the impact of activities through a multiplier effect.