Nicaragua: Wangki Tangni | CADAMUC | CADPI

Wangki Tangni Women's Center

© Angela Organ

The Wangki Tangni Women's Center ("Flower of the River Women's Center" in Miskito) is a community development organization run by and for Indigenous Peoples on Nicaragua's North Atlantic coast. Since 1990, the Wangki Tangni Women's Center has served more than 60 communities along the Coco River.

Wangki Tangni's mission is to promote sustainable development, protect traditional culture, and improve health among Indigenous Peoples. In this region, poverty, discrimination and exploitation of natural resources threaten local economies and cultures and the biodiversity on which Indigenous Peoples depend. Women's participation and the promotion of gender equity are central to Wangki Tangni's work.


Clean drinking water is not only a vital resource but an inherent, universal human right. Through our project, Liwa Mairin | Women Waterkeepers, MADRE and Wangki Tangni are building community awareness of the right to water, cleaning and repairing wells and training Indigenous women and their families to maintain wells and latrines and to care for their local water resources.

Sustainable Agriculture

MADRE has worked with Wangki Tangni to build Harvesting Hope, a community organic-agriculture project that is providing women with the trainings and resources necessary to improve their families' nutrition and health. Through Harvesting Hope, Wangki Tangni has established a seed bank and distributed hens and roosters to families throughout the community, promoting food sovereignty and women’s rights.

Trainings for Human Rights

Wangki Tangni provides training and technical assistance for Indigenous women leaders, healthcare workers, and educators across the region. The trainings include instruction in:

  • human rights instruments,
  • traditional herbal medicine,
  • nutrition, and prevention of disease and substance abuse.

Health Care for Women

The women of Wangki Tangni have played a central role in the development of a health system for the North Atlantic coast. As an autonomous region, the area has a separate health care system from the rest of Nicaragua. Wangki Tangni helped to ensure that this health care system combines Indigenous with Western medicine and that it provides high-quality, culturally appropriate health care to Indigenous women and families.

Income-Generating Projects

The Wangki Tangni Women's Sewing Collective is an income-generating cooperative made up of 35 Indigenous Miskito women. The Sewing Collective has a workshop with sewing machines, where they offer classes. Members have begun pattern-making and dyeing projects and recently sold some of their products at a local craft fair. MADRE supports the sewing collective with contributions of fabric and sewing machines through Helping Hands.


CADAMUC began providing health services to Nicaragua's dramatically underserved North Atlantic coast in the 1990's. Founded by an OB/Gyn and a dentist who had worked with Wangki Tangni, another MADRE sister organization on the North Atlantic coast, CADAMUC started out with a focus on sexual rights, reproductive rights and women's health. In 2001, with MADRE's support, CADAMUC became a full-fledged women's health clinic--the first on the Atlantic Coast.© Elizabeth Rappaport

CADAMUC Clinic specializes in gynecology, obstetrics and general medicine. The Clinic combines traditional medical knowledge with western medicine and treats approximately 10,000 people every year.

In 2003, CADAMUC expanded its services to include pediatric care and health services to workers in the fishing industry and at a local university. The clinic has also expanded its dentistry program, which is a critical service in a community where the only other dental clinic is a private practice that is unaffordable for most people. CADAMUC also offers a drug abuse prevention and rehabilitation center, staffed by counselors and psychologists, which addresses drug abuse among young people in the community.

In addition to providing health services, CADAMUC offers recreational activities and training programs for the community's youth. CADAMUC sponsors basketball and soccer teams and gives trainings for young people on leadership skills, human rights, gender equity and drug abuse prevention.



Center for Indigenous Peoples' Autonomy and Development (CADPI)

The Center for Indigenous Peoples' Autonomy and Development (known by its Spanish acronym CADPI) is a research and educational center for Indigenous and Afro-descent communities on the North Atlantic coast of Nicaragua. The center was created to provide documentation and analysis of local Miskito culture and socio-political history, bridge racial barriers and eradicate prejudices, provide cultural and economic opportunities (particularly for youth) in the region, display the work of local artists, and encourage local appreciation of the breadth of Miskito culture. The activities carried out by the center concentrate on the following areas: Indigenous Peoples Rights and Autonomy, Indigenous Women’s Rights, Cultural Revitalization, and Cross-cultural Communication.