San Esteban #1

  • Overview
  • Medical
  • Dental
  • Water
  • Business
  • Public Health


San Esteban #1 is located in the mountainous region of northern Nicaragua in the department of Jinotega. A typical house is made of zinc, cement blocks and bricks, and wood. The community has access to a local health center located 5 kilometers away as well as a primary school. 80 students attend the primary school with 5 teachers and 5 classrooms. The primary school goes up to grade six, and there is no secondary school located in San Esteban #1.Most people in the community work as agricultural laborers.

 In their communication with Global Brigades, the top three needs expressed were lack of latrines or properly functioning latrines and improvement of the community’s main entrance.San Esteban #1 is on the waitlist for continuing Holistic Model implementation as part of Global Brigades’ strategic plan in Nicaragua.

Municipality: Jinotega

Department: Jinotega

Homes : 52
Population : 208
Water System : Yes
Community Bank : Yes
Electricity : Yes
Health Center : No
Community Health Workers : Yes
% of Homes with Latrines : 0%
Education : Up to 6th Grade
Distance from Lodging Facility : 45 km


Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete


Healthcare access in Nicaragua is structured by the Ministry of Health, based in the capital, Managua. From there, each of the fifteen departments has it’s own department hospital, which is overseen by the SILAIS administrations (Sistema Local de Atención Integral en Salud). At a municipality level, there is a health center (Centro de Salud) for every municipality within the department. While they are not hospitals, health centers in the municipality are typically staffed with one doctor, and two nurses, that can attend patients with chronic, communicable, or noncommunicable diseases, as well as pregnancies. They however, do not have the ability to perform surgeries. Lastly, most but not all communities have a Puesto de Salud, a smaller health center. These health centers are usually staffed with only one nurse and a rotating physician. Physicians are staffed in these health centers by Nicaragua’s Social Service. This is an initiative that requires Nicaraguan medical students to do two years of service in rural communities prior to graduating.  The physician density in Nicaragua is approximately 1,099 people for every one doctor.  According to the World Health Organization, there should be a maximum of 435 people per physician to qualify a country as having adequate access to medical attention. This density is significantly lower for the 40.6% of the population that lives in rural areas. It is for this reason that Nicaragua’s Social Service initiative brings medical students to these communities. However, access remains limited since these training physicians may be assigned to up to fifteen communities at a time.  

San Esteban #1 has access to a health center located 5 km away from the community.  Even with this access, it is important to note that medications, supplies, and materials are often not available in these health centers and are dependent on government funding. There is no access to private pharmacies. Additionally, as noted above, access to trained medical professionals is limited.

During their initial communications with Global Brigades, the top three illnesses in children that San Esteban #1 expressed were diarrhoeal diseases and respiratory infections. For adults, common illnesses are chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension, as well as arthritis. Without access to trained healthcare professionals and medications, chronic diseases can go unmanaged, leading to further health problems. Acute illnesses can also be severe and affect the quality of life.




Patient Consultations


Pap Smears Performed


Health Education Workshops


San Esteban #1 has 1 Community Health Workers that is trained by the Ministry of Health. Community Health Workers, or Brigadistas de Salud, work on a volunteer basis as advocates for healthcare within their communities. They are tasked with treating and preventing common illnesses, and some of their responsibilities include first aid, supporting and caring for pregnancies and newborns, and responding to emergency situations. They are also responsible for following up with chronic patients to ensure proper administration of medications and treatments to avoid further complications. Global Brigades is planning to establish a partnership with {Community name} Community Health Workers and the Ministry of Health, and is looking forward to providing these Community Health Workers with blood pressure cuffs, stethoscopes, glucometers, and first aid kits, to facilitate more impactful work. The presence of these volunteers and their advocacy for health within their community contributes to the sustainability of healthcare supported by Global Brigades’ Medical Program and is one of the most impactful disease prevention strategies in rural communities.


Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete


While medical access is low, dental access is even more sparing. Dental services are not available within the community health centers, or even the municipality health centers. Instead, if a patient was needing dental care, they would be required to travel to one of the country’s fifteen department hospitals. This could be up to a 2-3 hour bus ride, with many needing to first walk or horseback ride to the bus stop.


Patients Consultations


Flouride Treatments


Fillings Performed


Dental Education Workshops


Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

San Esteban #1 has not been identified as a community in need of partnership with Global Brigades Water Program. Currently, San Esteban #1 utilizes a gravity system. The system was constructed in 2019 and has in-home connections to 100% of the households. The system is shared by 4 other communities. There are 5 elected Water Council members whose responsibility is to maintain the system and make repairs when needed. The community as a whole supports the system’s maintenance with their monthly water fee. 



Water System : Yes
Type of Water System : Gravity
% of Homes with Access to Water : 100%
Water Council : Yes


Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

Global Brigades has already begun the Business Program in San Esteban #1 with the establishment of the community bank in March 2021. Global Brigades is currently working on training the community bank members in order to ensure its sustainability and future access to loans as well as consultations from Business Brigades and TeleBrigades.

Community Bank : Yes
Community Bank Members : 11
Economic Activities : agriculture
Existing Microenterprises : Kiosks

Public Health

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

Global Brigades is working on the implementation of the Holistic Model in San Esteban #1 but has not yet begun with the Public Health Program. Now in the planning phase, the financing, delivery, and installation of household health infrastructure products will start as soon as feasible.

% of Homes with Latrines : 0%
% of Homes with Showers : 0%
% of Homes with Washing Station : 0%
Common House Materials : adobe, cement blocks and bricks, wood

Local Reference Points

View the map to see the closest volunteer lodging facilities, hospitals, and other relevant points of reference.

  • Feature