Introduction / History Nicaragua is the largest country in Central America. Its population is estimated to be six million people, with one-quarter of these living in the capital city of Managua. Approximately 600,000 of its people are deaf , far exceeding the estimates in surrounding Central American countries.
Elementary education is compulsory and free in Nicaragua, but secondary education for the Deaf is lacking, primarily due to the lack of interpreters. The small Christian Deaf School in Managua appears to be the only one that offers a high school education to Deaf students.
In addition to secondary education, the Deaf in Nicaragua feel the need for a broader public knowledge of sign language in order to provide for employment and integration of Deaf people; interpreting services by the government for national news and messages from the President; investigation, compilation and standardization of Nicaraguan Sign Language; and, sign language awareness in government institutions.
There are five small Deaf ministries conducted in Nicaraguan Sign Language connected with local churches in Managua but it is unknown if any exist outside the capital city. Jehovah's Witnesses have a strong presence in the country.