León is a city in western Nicaragua with a population of 212,504. It’s the capital and largest city of León Department.
The majority of families are dependent on agriculture and changes in climate are ruining their crops. In these situations, one family member is obliged to find a job in a city, away from agriculture.
Because of poor water quality and dust people suffer from respiratory and skin problems, malnutrition and infectious sickness.
Since 2004, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in León.
Around 90% of children are affected by diarrhea. Studies show that the peak of diarrhea transmission is during the dry season. The climate in the department of León is tropical with a dry season between December and April. Infants are the most vulnerable group of children to contract rotavirus diarrhea.
Those living in households without running water are at even greater risk. In addition, inadequate hygiene practices are risk factors. Symptoms include fever, vomiting, nausea, loss of appetite, and abdominal pain.
More than 50% of people live below the poverty line. Families live in small houses made from brick with zinc, some have wells. On average, eight family members live a one household with only one income.
Young children and adults living in poverty put their health at risk by collecting items from landfills with their bare hands and without any protection. The main work is to select and collect items that can be sold for recycling - plastic, metal, glass, paper and cardboard. They earn less than $1.50 per day.