Our Approach and Programs

A long-term partnership with communities to break the cycle of rural poverty and create agents of sustainable change.

"Social-emotional training combined with project-based programs is the key to sustainable development."

A farmer with his tomato crop, Nicaragua
A farmer with his tomato crop, Nicaragua

Our Approach: 4 and 20
ViviendasLeon employs a 4 year “ladder of development” program to address the most persistent and interconnected characteristics of poverty in the region. These include limited human capacities, malnourishment, unemployment, environmental degradation and public health diseases.  

We focus on 20% of a population with projects in human training, food and nutritionwater and sanitation, environmental science and reforestation, small business formation and youth development to address immediate needs and create a long-term and sustainable transformation of rural communities.

Christina with her children
Christina with her children

A recent series of events impacted the life of Cristina Flores profoundly: 

“It began when my husband abandoned us, leaving me responsible for our three children. This left me puzzled, not knowing what to do or which way to go. I was very lonely, and had lost the motivation to live.

That same year, ViviendasLeón conducted a survey in my community and held a meeting presenting projects that they wanted to work on. I went with the intention of distracting myself, but without thinking I found the source of my motivation that I needed in my life, not just for me but for my children as well.

At the beginning I attended the human capacity training course, and during those three months I began to discover who I was as a person, my talents, my capabilities, and more importantly my value. Upon receiving my family garden, I not only made a commitment to ViviendasLeón, but also to my children and myself. 

I started planting bell peppers and green beans that first season. Though I did not have a successful harvest I did not let it discourage me but rather it motivated me to keep planting vegetables for my family, and to try and produce a surplus to sell in the community and in the market in León.

My successful completion of the training program had also motivated me to take an active role in the decisions made in my community, and recognize that I can contribute to its development.ViviendasLeón has had a consistent presence in my community, giving us technical assistance and encouraging us to move forward despite the problems that arise. ViviendasLeón is more than an organization, they are part of my family.”

Related Updates


4 years = 10 %

Our unique 4-year cycle of training, farming, water and small businesses establishes a core group of families, 10%, who provide self-sustaining food security and economic expansion in their communities.

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Changing Women's Lives

Nine years ago, Margarita joined the Aristides-Sanchez Community Board to become an active participant in her community. Margarita described the community board, dominated by men, as one that discriminated against women, barred them from opportunities, and whose work was not recognized or valued.

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