After receiving requests from civil society organizations following the political crisis which began in Nicaragua in April 2018, PBI began an exploratory process in the region. During this process, we observed that, due to the political repression they faced, a large number of Nicaraguans had fled the country, many of them – around 80,000 to date – requesting refugee status in neighboring Costa Rica.
In order to respond to this context and the needs expressed by local organizations, in 2020 PBI launched a new accompaniment project in Costa Rica focused on providing support to exiled Nicaraguan human rights defenders and social movements. The project currently provides organizational strengthening support to groups representing the student movement, the LGBTIQ+ community, feminist women, women from the afro-Caribbean region of southern Nicaragua, and the peasant movement. Support includes psychosocial accompaniment and capacity development on protection strategies to prepare for an eventual return to their home country while fully exercising their rights. Workshop content and methodology is adapted to the specific needs of each group according to their own organizational processes, and is underpinned by the incorporation of a gender perspective and culture of peace as common threads.
In addition, the Nicaragua in Costa Rica Project supports the reconstruction of social fabric of those in exile through the organization of exchange spaces focused on sharing knowledge and strategies for the defense of human rights with other HRDs from the region who are also accompanied by PBI.