Plaza Mayor Medellín, Colombia. Submitted photo

Plaza Mayor Medellín, Colombia. Submitted photo

Maple Valley residents navigate the crisis in Nicaragua

Corner of Love nonprofit hopes to give Nicaraguans rights, democracy

When Tanya Amador and her husband, Nelson Amador, went to Nicaragua in 1992, what they found was a very poor and impoverished country that needed their help.

Maple Valley residents Tanya Amador and Nelson Amador started a nonprofit called “Corner of Love.” The goal of the nonprofit is to help those struggling in Nicaragua.

Tanya Amador said the nonprofit was first started in 2000 through her and Nelson Amador’s church in Maple Valley, and it just took off from there.

Their nonprofit is near and dear to both Tanya Amador and her husband, because Nelson Amador is Nicaraguan. He is the last of nine siblings to be sent to the United States during the post-revolution time to find a safe future, according to the nonprofit’s website.

According to a press release from Corner of Love, the global nonprofit has served an average of 30,000 impoverished Nicaraguans annually.

The nonprofit serves people of Nicaragua by hosting a number of humanitarian teams each year through medical, dental and optical clinics, along with family sponsorship, improvement projects, educational aid and church development.

Now that a political crisis has broken out in Nicaragua, the nonprofit is facing more challenges.

“It’s a political crisis where people of Nicaragua are asking for democracy. They’re living under a dictatorship. The president there is Daniel Ortega and he’s kind of like their Fidel Castro if you will,” Tanya Amador explained. “He’s been in politics for 40 years and last year he made his wife vice president of the country, so things are just going downhill. He’s getting all of his children into minister positions and things like that.”

According to the nonprofit and advocacy organization Human Rights Watch (HRW), hrw.org, an “enormous” concentration of power has allowed Ortega’s government to “commit abuse against critics and opponents.” In other words, he romped opposition lawmakers from the government, so there is no checks and balances, according to HRW.

Because of his power and unethical practices, protesters broke out and took a stand.

“People took to the streets and they had quite a few marches. On the biggest day they had 2 million people in the streets and, very unfortunately, the Nicaraguan government decided to shoot at the unarmed people who were marching,” Tanya Amador said.

This led to many innocent people dying during protest. Government forces were responsible for killing hundreds of protesters, according to HRW. Last year, Corner of Love’s work became even harder.

Tanya Amador said the government criminalized humanitarian aids last year. A new law in Nicaragua was made where clinics would have to discriminate between patients who were antigovernment and those who complied to local law.

“So we moved to Costa Rica and we’re now there at the boarder with Nicaragua,” she said. “We’ve opened our doors to Nicaraguan refugees. So 90,000 people have come into the country of Costa Rica.”

While this has helped a lot of people, the Amadors believe laws still need to be changed in Nicaragua.

Not too long ago, Tanya Amador became a Civil Society Representative for the Organization of American States, or “OAS.”

OAS was founded in 1948 for the purpose of building a regional solidarity and cooperation between states and its members. There are 35 countries in the Western Hemisphere that take part in OAS.

OAS held a general assembly in Medellin, Columbia from June 26 to June 28.

According to the OAS website, the general assembly is composed of delegations of all member states and is usually held by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs. Each member has the right to cast vote in regards to a proposed resolution or policy.

Tanya Amador said she became a Civil Society Representative to voice to the people what is going on in Nicaragua.

“I’m kind of into world government circles to talk about this treatment of the poor and how democracy is being trampled on,” she said. “(I) let them know what’s going on and what we see. And sometimes show videos. I’ve had several interventions where I show videos of what’s going on in Nicaragua or talk with the different ambassadors or just led a little bit of opinion as far as the resolutions they’re drafting and things like that.”

When the Reporter last spoke with Tanya Amador on June 27, she said she was a little disappointed because the draft resolution coming up for Nicaragua is much softer than hoped for. They were hoping for something that would condemn the government in a lot stronger way.

“There’s movement on a lot of different topics that would affect the government, but things are slow,” Amador said.

By the end though, the organization got the voted they needed, calling for the return of inter-American commission on human rights in Nicaragua, she said.

To see the final resolution on “The Situation in Nicaragua,” go to oas.org/es/centro_noticias/comunicado_prensa.asp?sCodigo=D-014/19.

Amador said she is also really proud of how the American government has reacted to all this. She said it has been very quick on its feet to get people involved in helping Nicaragua.

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