“Sympathy is no substitute for action”

David Livingstone’s maxim helped to inspire the founding of the Trust, more than 20 years ago. Since then, hundreds of volunteers have experienced life-changing visits to Nicaragua, to get hands-on with practical building projects in some of the poorest communities in Latin America.

Bluefields, on the Caribbean coast, is particularly lacking in basic infrastructure. There is a desperate need in the region for medical services, schools and community facilities, and often those that do exist are in dire need of refurbishment and repair.

Several times a year teams travelled from the UK with the aim of seeing a building project through from start to finish, over the course of two to three weeks. Typical constructions include school classrooms and toilet blocks, community laundry facilities and clinics. We developed good relations with local education and health contacts to promote the right projects.

At the end of the project, each facility was owned and operated by the local community, and indeed most of them are still in daily use. At present we are reluctant to send new teams due to the funding issues but have plans to recommence using some experienced volunteers and a mainly Nicaraguan team.