During the 1980’s TecNica sent more than 700 highly skilled volunteers to Nicaragua. These volunteers have helped to empower Nicaraguans—and Nicaragua—by passing on their much-needed skills. In vocational schools and universities; in laboratories, fields, and factories, TecNica volunteers made a major contribution to Nicaragua’s economic self-sufficiency.
By 1989, TecNica had also placed 20 long-term volunteers in Nicaragua on assignments of one to two years and longer. Technical volunteers trained Nicaraguans in industrial and agricultural production, health care, water treatment, communications, and data processing.
- At the Windmill Repair and Reforestation Project in San Juan del Sur, TecNica volunteers worked with Nicaraguan apprentices to repair and maintain the windmills that pump water through the region.
- In Managua’s La Lascota Children’s Hospital, TecNica nurses trained Nicaraguan nursing students in infant care.
- At the Wheelchair Repair Shop at Aldo Chavaria Hospital in Managua, Nicaraguans—many of them disabled by the war—learned to repair wheelchairs.
- Computer programmers and database experts taught computer literacy so Nicaraguans could gain access to the most up-to-date medical, technical, and communications techniques from international sources.
- Physical therapists worked in small clinics in northern Nicaragua, treating victims of the Contra War and patients with industrial injuries.
- Welders and mechanics taught welding and tractor repair in rural areas.
- Welders worked in a Managua dairy, repairing the refrigeration system and training Nicaraguans to maintain it. Providing unspoiled milk was critical in Nicaragua, where most of the population was under age 15.
- Computer specialists trained a Managua collective in software development to help reduce Nicaragua’s technological dependence on northern nations.
- Biostatisticians taught students at the medical school in Managua to conduct epidemiological studies to help contain the post-hurricane outbreak of malaria.
- Entomologists trained Nicaraguans to classify and control insects and parasites to reduce crop damage and put nutritious food on Nicaraguans’ tables.
Volunteers focused on appropriate technology and training wherever possible to provide a realistic framework from which the Nicaraguans could move forward on their own.