Compas de Nicaragua (formerly Compas de La Primavera) was founded in 1992 by Ash Eames of Wentworth, NH. Compas began as an informal friendship group from central New Hampshire that traveled to Nicaragua each year to carry out community projects in La Primavera, a poor neighborhood of Managua, Nicaragua.
Between 1993 and 1998
Compas helped build a community center in La Primavera. The center included four rooms, and was utilized as a doctor’s office and community pre-school. A tree nursery was also developed and used to re-forest the La Primavera community and other Managua neighborhoods. The center and tree nursery were run by a local group of community leaders who formed a community council.
Michael Boudreau, a native of Littleton, NH, began living in La Primavera and working to support the projects of Compas. With Michael’s full time presence in Nicaragua and his work fundraising for the projects, the organization began to grow.
At the end of 1999
Compas ended its working relationship with the community council and began to look for ways to support the most impoverished residents of La Primavera.
In January of 2000
Compas began to support women and children in the poorest settlement of La Primavera. A women’s group was formed called, Women in Action (WIA). Activities and workshops were organized, including a soy food program, arts and crafts project, community school, and medical clinics.
In January 2003
Michael Boudreau and Ana Narvaez began working full-time as Compas de Nicaragua’s Executive Director and Project Coordinator, respectively.
In October 2003
Compas was able to purchase a piece of land near the settlement and build the WIA Community Center. The center now includes a community store, activity room, community kitchen, school room, library and computer room.
WIA have organized several health, education and income generating programs from the center. The programs have succeeded in dramatically improving community health and nutrition, providing educational opportunities for adults and children, and offering sources of income for families.
Compas has organized over 100 service trips to Nicaragua. Trips include groups from high schools, universities, churches, and organizations. The service trips provide opportunities for individuals to volunteer in Nicaragua and to experience life the way the extremely poor experience it. Participants live with host families, actively participate by working side by side Nicaraguans on projects, meet with various organizations, visit places of interest, and learn about the culture, history, and current issues affecting Nicaragua.
All service trips are led by Compas’ Executive Director, Michael Boudreau and Project Coordinator, Ana Narvaez.
Compas has also organized five dance tours that have brought WIA members to the U.S. to carry out traditional dance, promote programs, and educate audiences about Nicaragua.
In June 2005
Compas purchased a house in La Primavera to be used as a visitor center. The visitor center includes 4 guest rooms, kitchen and dining area, a project office, and garage.
Compas began supporting sustainable living projects through the Brothers and Sisters Farming Cooperative (BSR) in La Paz, Carazo, a small, rural town southwest of Managua. Compas is helping the members of BSR by finding outlets for sales of their organic coffee, providing them with micro-loans for the growing season, and installing bio-digester systems that convert animal manure to cooking gas.