Nicaragua is the largest yet most sparsely populated of the Central American nations with a population of 5 million, it borders Honduras to the north and Costa Rica to the south. 5 It is also one of the poorest countries in Central America and second poorest in the western Hemisphere, suffering from huge uneven wealth distribution. 

Life expectancy in men is 70 years and 75 years in women.3The indigenous and impoverished people have very little access to healthcare services.

73% of all deaths in Nicaragua are caused by non-communicable diseases. Cancer accounts for 12% of all deaths.6

The highest rate of cancer incidence in men is prostate cancer and cervical cancer in women.  The rates of prostate cancer are however declining according to a report in 2013. The government is currently developing a policy and action plan for the control of all NCDs. Mortality rates are highest in stomach cancer amongst men and cervical cancer amongst women.2?In children (under 16), the highest rate of mortality in Nicaragua and the whole of central America is Leukemia. The situation is worsened due to a lack of resources and education, as a low-income country, diagnosis happens often at a very late stage, and access to medicines are extremely limited. 4

American Nicaraguan Foundation

ANF was born as an initiative of its founders – Alfredo Pellas Jr., Theresa Pellas, and Father León Pallais– to contribute to mitigate the effects of poverty in Nicaragua.

In July 1992, ANF became officially regulated in the United States as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.


ANF´s institutional mission is to acquire directly or through strategic partners the necessary resources to contribute substantially and sustainably to reduce the impact of poverty in the lives of the most vulnerable population in Nicaragua; providing these non-profitable resources to their beneficiaries, in an efficient, effective and transparent manner, with the assistance of a network of local partners. 


A Nicaragua with greater opportunities, self-sufficiency and dignity for the poorest sectors of the population.


God - Human solidarity – Generosity – Honesty - Trustworthiness - Responsibility - Respect

 The problem

  • Life expectancy at birth: 73.7 years
  • An average of 100 women die each year from causes associated with pregnancy, 23 of which are teenagers.Child mortality rate under age 5: 27 per 1000 live birth.
  • 1 out of 5 children die from diseases and malnutrition.
  • Prevalence of communicable diseases: dengue, leptospirosis, tuberculosis, and others
  • Increase in number of chronic noncommunicable diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, arthritis, etc..
  • An estimated 10% of the population over six years, suffer some disability.

What have we done?

Donating periodic replacement material, drugs, supplies, medical equipment and furniture to healthcare centers, including the hospital network, and specialized centers for cancer care (with enphasis in women and children), psyquiatric problems and kidney diseases.

"Annual requirements": Heath care basic furniture, including: desk, chairs, scanning table and drug storage shelves: Cost p/center: $600 / 9-months prenatal care for pregnant women: Cost $100 / Growth and development check-up for children under age 5: Cost p/visit: $50 / pediatric attention to children with respiratory or parasitic diseases: Cost p/visit: $ 20 .

How we do it

Distribution Network

  • ANF relies on its broad local organizations network across Nicaragua to fulfill its mission, distributing aid through 1,600 organizations in 2011.
  • We serve all 15 departments of Nicaragua and both of its Autonomous Regions RAAS and RAAN).


In 20 years, ANF has shipped over 5,000 containers (over 100,000 MT) of aid valued at 1.5  billion dollars to Nicaragua.

ANF focuses in serving the most underprivileged sectors of Nicaraguan society, providing them staple resources in priority areas of:

Education: Improve education quality levels, registration, attendance and retention rates in low-income community primary schools.

Health: Improve the capabilities, access and quality of medical attention for impoverish population in Nicaragua.

Nutrition: Reduce the risk of food insecurity to vulnerable sectors of the population in Nicaragua.

Sustainable Development: Promote sustainable human development and improved life quality for members of low-income communities.

Emergency Aid: Providing immediate help to alleviate the situation of victims of natural disasters or national emergencies.