Nicaragua, Photography, Travel

Las Tias – Mothers Changing Lives


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Las Tias began in the street market of Leon, over 20 years ago. At that time, the mothers who worked in those markets weren’t able to leave their children home alone during the day while they worked, so they would bring them along to the market. However, these children, growing up out in the streets, ended up getting into a lot of mischief – particularly, stealing food from other vendors. The mothers decided they had to put a stop to this, and when they asked their children why they were stealing, their answer was that they were hungry. So the mothers came together and created a safe space at one end of the market where they provided these children with free food. This was the beginning of Las Tias. Since then, they’ve grown into an organization which runs in a small building in Leon and provides so many opportunities to the children and youth of the city.

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Today, Las Tias provides children of all ages with a free and safe space to eat, get homework help and learn trade skills such as carpentry, cosmetics, leather-making, cooking, sewing and guitar.

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Meet Justa (which means ‘justice’). Everyone calls her Tia (Spanish for Aunty). Tia currently runs Las Tias. The woman behind Tia is another local mother who is helping with the cooking classes. The love and dedication Tia has for these children just exudes from her. You can feel it instantly.

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Wall art made from recycled straws
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A young boy learning to cook.

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Justa’s favourite class offered at Las Tias is the woodworking classes. She says that when these children graduate from school and are unable to find work, they don’t have to resort to cleaning trash on the streets to make money. Instead, they can fall back on their woodworking skills and make tables and chairs to sell, because wood is always available and they can create a future for themselves.

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Wall art made with recycled food packaging

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12 Days of Nicaragua

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