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Witness for Peace Nicaragua Program

Witness for Peace’s work in Nicaragua was born from outrage at U.S. funding of the Contra War in the 1980s. Unlike in the anti-Vietnam War protests of the previous decade, where citizens protested within U.S. borders, U.S. citizens traveled to Nicaragua’s war zones to witness firsthand the effects of our government’s policies. 



Throughout the 1980s, Witness for Peace brought thousands of people to Nicaragua to provide protective accompaniment to communities at risk and to document the effects of the U.S.-supported war.  After returning to the U.S., these delegates became a powerful grassroots base, practicing non-violent action to oppose the “low-intensity” warfare sponsored by the United States in the name of fighting communism. 

After the war ended and many other nonprofits left, Witness for Peace remained in Nicaragua, acting in solidarity to oppose the U.S.-promoted economic policies that negatively impact workers, farmers, and families.  In 1997, WFP helped Nicaraguan maquila workers secure their first union contract.

Currently, Witness for Peace delegations investigate how the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) and policies of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank affect Nicaraguan farmers, workers and families.  The Nicaragua-based International Team documents the link between these economic policies and increased rates of migration, as well as the effects of U.S. military counter-narcotics funding on the country.  

Students Learn about Coffee Trade on WFP Delegation
by Emily KennedyThe Cowl--Providence College's Student-Run Newspaper
Ten Providence College students traveled to Nicaragua with Witness for Peace to learn about coffee farming and fair trade.

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