Public, Society Benefit

Nicaragua Initiative For Community Advancement Inc

  • Dallas, TX
  • www.nicafund.org

Mission Statement

The mission of NICA is to cause lasting positive change for rural communities in Nicaragua that do not have sufficient access to basic services and job opportunities.  NICA implements this positive change through an education and basic needs program where recipients are in charge of effecting change in their own life.

Main Programs

  1. CREA - Education Program
  2. Somos el Cambio - Commerse Development Program
Service Areas

Self-reported

International

Our main location is on the Pacific Coast of Nicaragua, the community of El Transito. Our second community is the Laguna Apoyo Comarca, located near Granada, Nicaragua. Our third community is the community of Tecaloste, located a few miles from El Transito.

ruling year

2006

Principal Officer since 2006

Self-reported

Mrs Terri Marlett

Keywords

Self-reported

internships, scholarships, surf, surfing, vacations, Central America, CostSocial entrepreneurship, sustainability, accountability, service vacations, study abroad, environmental, Nicaragua, El Transito, education, healthcare, infrastructure, commerce, community pride, trash clean-up, coastal restoration, fishing village, children, illiteracy, malnutrition, poverty, non religious, empowerment

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Also Known As

NICA

EIN

20-4637401

 Number

0900424602

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Leadership Development (W70)

Fund Raising and/or Fund Distribution (O12)

Humanities Organizations (A70)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Overview

Self-reported by organization

Transformation starts with you and ends with the determination and hard work of the residents in rural Nicaragua.  NICA does not give aid; NICA gives opportunity to people to take control of their situation and find a way out of poverty.

Programs

Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Program 1

CREA - Education Program

CREA is a blended learning program. We use technology and teacher training to deploy the curriculum set out by the Nicaraguan ministry of education. Before CREA, it was difficult to deploy the curriculum because of failing infrastructure at the school, a lack of teacher training, deteriorated books and missing materials needed by the teacher. CREA allows teachers to use the internet and projectors to present lessons to students. CREA uses tablets to help students who need extra help or who are able to work on more challenging lessons. CREA works with teachers

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.)

Female Children and Youth (infants - 19 years)

Budget

97,000

Program 2

Somos el Cambio - Commerse Development Program

Somos el Cambio is a work program where recipients work in their community for their community in exchange for basic needs like building materials to improve or build a home. Participants sign quarterly contracts and take turns leading their group. The community benefits for the work realized and the participant benefits for the in kind payment to improve their housing and basic needs.

Category

Community Development

Population(s) Served

Females, all ages or age unspecified

Hispanics

Budget

30,000

Charting Impact

Self-reported by organization

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

  1. What is the organization aiming to accomplish?
    NICA's goals are to cause lasting change for rural coastal towns on the Pacific Coast of Nicaragua. Our specific goals include improving the quality of education offered to children, educating the community on responsible litter disposal and environmental responsibility, creating jobs for adults, and teaching English to all those who want to participate.
  2. What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?
    We put the recipients in charge of the change that happens in their town and own lives. We create programs that offer opportunities to students and teachers and adults not enrolled in school. Teacher and students are offered opportunities to learn more, teach better, and improve education over all for residents in El Transito. Adults, mainly women, are offered community service jobs that create lasting change in their town as well as in their own private lives. They are paid in construction materials and those materials positively impact their entire family. Giving people the responsibility and ability to change their lives by providing only opportunities is the key to ending the cycle of poverty for future generations.
  3. What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?
    After 10 years of operating in El Transito, we have learned a lot. We have failed and we have had victories. Through this process, we have become very capable in creating lasting change in a rural community. Through trial and error, we have learned what works and what does not. We have developed a great network of people on the ground and in Managua that work together to deploy our programs. Locals know the ins and outs about what works and what doesn't. We have many locals on our team, and with their direction and guidance, we are capable of overcoming any obstacles.
  4. How will they know if they are making progress?
    We track and evaluate both of our programs quarterly. In education, we use standardized tests. In the community development program, we use subjective measurements like how many new businesses open, how clean the town is, how many new homes are being built. We know we are making lasting change and impact because academic achievement is increasing at every grade level and new businesses are opening all the time.
  5. What have and haven't they accomplished so far?
    We haven't scaled to the level we thought we could have after 10 years of operating in Nicaragua. We have accomplished way more than we thought we needed to. We had no idea how many layers we needed to peel back to get to where we are today. We are proud of the progress we have made because we know it will be long lasting. Changing cultural norms and educating children is not a quick fix project, it takes time. We are please with the changes we have seen about making education a priority, litter prevention, and improved housing options. We are most pleased that the residents themselves chose these changes. Their choices will begin to impact future generations and disrupt the current cycle of poverty in rural areas in Nicaragua.
Service Areas

Self-reported

International

Our main location is on the Pacific Coast of Nicaragua, the community of El Transito. Our second community is the Laguna Apoyo Comarca, located near Granada, Nicaragua. Our third community is the community of Tecaloste, located a few miles from El Transito.

Funding Needs

Our most pressing need is to build a community center where we can operate CREA and Somos el Cambio. Right now, we are operating Somos el Cambio out of a local cafe and other donated locations in town. CREA is operating at the local school. We would like to have our own space to expand and operate our programs. We could serve more children if we had a community center. We have purchased 18 shipping containers, designed the center and will begin construction 2017. We need funds for transportation and installation of the containers, furniture for the CREA lab, kitchen equipment for the restaurant and a Rancho that will provide shade over the courtyard. A community center will be a huge next step in educating tourists and operating our programs in El Transito.

External Reviews

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Financials

Financial information is an important part of gauging the short- and long-term health of the organization.

Nicaragua Initiative for Community Advancement Inc
Fiscal year: Jan 01-Dec 31

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Nicaragua Initiative For Community Advancement Inc

Leadership

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  • Board Chair and Board Members
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Principal Officer

Mrs Terri Marlett

BIO

Mrs. Marlett directs the activities of NICA. She recognized the enormous need that was not being served by traditional charities in Nicaragua while spending time there. She spends most of her time in Nicaragua organizing the efforts of NICA and her impact has been solidly felt in El Tránsito (the first community NICA is assisting). She spends approximately 30% of her time in Nicaragua and expects to spend considerable more time there as NICA expands its efforts.
Mrs. Marlett graduated with honors from Loyola Marymount University with a Bachelors Degree in English then went on to earn her J.D. from the Southwestern University School of Law.
Mrs. Marlett and her husband Christopher share there time between their homes in Los Angeles and Nicaragua.

STATEMENT FROM THE Principal Officer

"We founded NICA to improve the quality of life for those living in rural Nicaragua. We accomplish this by providing opportunities and not giving handouts. We have seen amazing transformations in the lives of many living in rural towns. Preserving dignity in the recipients of our programs is our number one goal. When residents change their lives, the results are long lasting and humbling to witness. Check out our website to learn more about our programs and results. www.nicafund.org"

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Terri Marlett

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

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BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?


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CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?


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ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?