Welcome to the CESESMA website
CESESMA, the Centre for
Education in Health and Environment, is an independent, non-government
organisation working with children and young people in the coffee-growing
of northern Nicaragua, where dependence on coffee
production leads to a high incidence of child labour and the
associated social problems. We are a team made up entirely of
Nicaraguans, most of us local people. Although we depend on overseas
support and solidarity to fund our work, we are self-governing and
independent of any external agency.
Some of the world's finest coffee is grown
in the remote mountains of northern Nicaragua. The Nicaraguan
coffee industry employs many thousands of child workers who work
long hours every day in difficult and dangerous conditions,
receiving little or no payment for their efforts. Almost all
drop out of school early. Some have no opportunity to go to
school at all. The globalised coffee market has little respect
for the rights, much less the dreams, of these children. The
consequence is unemployment, hunger and destitution in these
remote mountain communities.
An alternative vision of rural community
CESESMA is developing a new
approach to community education, designed in response to the reality
children and young people working in Nicaragua’s coffee zone.
It is founded on the rights established in the International
Convention on the Rights of the Child, ratified by Nicaragua in
1990. This approach supports children and young people in developing
new skills and capacities which enable them to take on an active
role, working for change and transformation at a personal, family
and community level. Primarily focused on the children and young
people themselves, our skilled team of local community educators also works in partnership with
parents, teachers, community leaders and others. This
educational strategy enables the young people to move from creative
reflection and analysis to the search for solutions, and planning of
joint community action to confront and transform their challenging
and exploitative situation.
The CESESMA web-site is fully bilingual. At the bottom of every page
there is a button
to change the language to Spanish or back to English.
You will find our main menu at the top of every page.
Most sections have a sub-menu on
the left of the page.
To return to the homepage click on the
round photo in the top left corner.
As well as the basic information on
these pages, we now have an extensive digital library of documents
to download, which can be accessed from our
Original design and programming: Marc Pérez
Spanish text editing: Nohemí Molina
English text and translation: Harry Shier
If you would like to support CESESMA's work through
fund-raising, educational or solidarity work in your home country,
or if you would like to come and visit us, we will be pleased to
hear from you.
Drop us an E-mail.