Nicaragua is an extremely poor country. The children who turn to the streets come from broken homes . They have experienced violence and abuse. Many have been sexually abused by a stepfather, brother, or uncle. These children are expected to support the family by begging, stealing, selling on the street, and in the case of many of the girls, they are are forced to prostitute themselves.
The street children of Managua, Nicaragua’s capital, have never had a childhood. Many go out to “earn” for their families one day and never go back. They find a “new family” on the street, but they find glue and a whole new world of violence. The addictive glue suppresses their hunger - an escape from reality, from the pain of survival.
On the street, the children form living communities, called focos. In the foco, the girls usually match up with a boyfriend or “marido”. The marido normally sends his girlfriend out to prostitute so that he can eat and buy things for himself. The girls receive physical and sexual abuse from their maridos and clients. Many of the boys steal to make their way on the streets. In the focos, sexually transmitted diseases run rampant, the children live in filth and waste, and many of the girls become pregnant. As the years go on, and as the economic situation of Nicaragua gets worse, we see more and more children turning to the streets.
(Read more in the attached flyer