Jinotepe – Thanks to the generosity of the border towns in Costa Rica, thousands of children fleeing the social and political crisis in Nicaragua have managed to return to class. According to the note sent to Fides by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees these children had not been to school for more than a year, that is, since their families were forced to flee Nicaragua.
There are many children among the 75,000 Nicaraguans who fled their country in 2018, considering that the largest group went to Costa Rica due to its proximity. According to the Costa Rican Migration Authority, in May 2019, about 61,791 Nicaraguans applied for asylum.
The situation becomes even more complex when these children do not have education certificates or other school documents, but only birth certificates or sometimes a passport. In Costa Rica primary school is free and compulsory for all children, regardless of their migratory status. In response to the massive influx of Nicaraguans, many schools in the north of the country have begun to simplify access requirements to allow even undocumented children to register.
UNHCR supports schools and communities in towns and cities such as Los Laureles and Upala for initiatives to integrate Nicaraguan students. Through donations of desks, chairs and school supplies, the UN Agency integrates the efforts made by the local authorities and the population of Costa Rica. “The generosity shown by Costa Rica embodies the spirit of the Global Refugee Pact”, said Milton Moreno, UNHCR representative in Costa Rica. “These efforts show that solidarity can be implemented and serve as an inspiration for all of us”.
Meanwhile, tension continues in Nicaragua, where the Catholic communities celebrated a year since the violent death of a large group, more than 30 protesters, which took place in Jinotepe, Diriamba and Carazo. The Church have always assured their presence alongside the population in these moments of suffering: see Fides 10/07/2018.
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