Nicaragua: Cultural Recovery and Creative Productive Development on the Caribbean Coast of Nicaragua


One in three children is chronically malnourished on Nicaragua's Caribbean Coast, an area that contains 80% of the country's natural resources, but is also one of its poorest regions and home to the majority of its indigenous and Afro-Caribbean populations. The aim of the Joint Programme was to help to reduce inequalities in the human, social and economic development of these communities through cultural reclamation, productive development and a deepening of knowledge of tangible and intangible heritage.

The Programme had two complementary focuses:

  1. Cultural recovery and productive development aimed at strengthening heritage, cultural and natural diversity, and productivity in cultural, creative and tourist industries in the Autonomous Regions of the Caribbean Coast. The ultimate objective was to further socio-economic development and the creation of jobs, with a focus on women as producers, transmitters and creators of culture.
  2. To support cultural policy and its regionalisation by carrying out research, and systemizing and disseminating studies and socio-economic statistics and indicators on the cultural expression of the Autonomous Regions of the Caribbean Coast. 
Main achievements included:
  • Two General Directorates for Cultural Issues were established in each of the Autonomous Regions of the Caribbean Coast. 
  • The programme helped to strengthen the management skills and cultural production of indigenous and Afro-descendant peoples and encouraged communities to participate in the process of diagnostics and mapping, revitalization, training and local organization, and the design and development of proposals for cultural projects.
  • It also contributed to the creation and institutionalization of the regional cultural policy and its relationship to the development plans of the Caribbean Coast. For the first time, this population had technical and financial resources to work on the development, promotion and management of their culture.
  • Participants gained increased knowledge of the cultural situation in their region. Research processes and the systematization and dissemination of information on heritage, cultural diversity and creativity contributed to strengthened identity. 
  • Institutional capacities for revitalization of cultural expressions and skills were strengthened. More than 26 small cultural projects were implemented, more than 1000 cultural managers were trained and certified and a cultural community center was completed.
  • A responsible tourism strategy was developed and organized around cultural heritage. Tourist guides were trained and tour operators strengthened to improve the competitiveness of the region.


Click for more detailed results from the Joint Programmes in Nicaragua (in Spanish).



The Joint Programme in action


Programme Dates 03 Mar 2009 - 30 Jun 2013
Net funded amount $8,486,000
Participating UN agencies ILO, UNDP, UNESCO, UNICEF, UNIDO, UNWTO
National partners Gobierno Regional Autónomo del Atlántico Norte, Gobierno Regional Autónomo del Atlántico Sur, Instituto Nicaragüense de Cultura (INC), Instituto Nicaragüense de Turismo (INTUR)
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