Everyday, Burners Without Borders transforms communities through innovative disaster relief programs and community initiatives that make a lasting impact. 



Improving Women’s Health- Nicaragua

Location: Estali, Nicaragua - Map It STATUS: Active

We are grateful for the Burners without Borders community who have helped to support creative and innovative projects all over the globe. We would love your support in funding our initiative, the  Mama Licha Midwifery Clinic. This  project shares the principles of Burning Man, which influences our work off playa, such as self-reliance, gifting, self-expression, communal effort and civic responsibility.

You can learn all about these remarkable programs by viewing our short videos that beautifully tell the story. Click Here for the story of Mama Licha

Support This Project

It easy to support us either by pressing the button “Donate Now” at www.mamasclinic.org. 100% of your contribution goes to the project.

How it all Began

Our story begins in 2002 in the northern Highlands of Nicaragua in town called Esteli.

When Angie Rogers, a budding family nurse-practitioner, and I, Bethany Golden, a budding nurse midwife, met and were inspired by Alicia Huete, or “Mama Licha” as she is known in the community. Her mission is a selfless dedication to her community, working to provide needed services to those with few resources. As a human rights activist she has always seen all patients regardless of their ability to pay. She is beloved by the community and has worked as a nurse and midwife for over 40 years, persevering through the Revolution and then the Contra War.

Just like many midwives throughout the world, she believes that a healthy community starts with healthy women. Her vision has always been clear and her resolve unmatchable. Understanding the critical need to improve access to reproductive health services in Nicaragua, Mama shared with us her dream: to have her own free-standing clinic to better serve her patients. When we met her, she was using her kitchen which was partitioned by a wood panel and due to lack of electricity was using a head lamp for exams. We quickly raised the funds for her to expand her work.

Creating a Midwifery Clinic

Together, we launched our flagship project to construct and equip the first independently operated midwifery clinic in Esteli, Nicaragua. It was completed by 2003. Today, Mama Licha’s clinic continues to provide care for the women in the community who need it most. As its director, Mama Licha operates her clinic which is an official part of the public health system, and although she has taken break from attending births regularly, she continues to do over 1000 pap smears a year, provides essential medicines and contraception, provide treatment for STDs and prenatal classes, geared often towards adolescents and their partners. She serves as a health advisor in the town and can often be heard on the radio and seen on local TV discussing women’s health in her down to earth style. She also does outreach on specific health topics, such STD prevention and contraception, at the local cigar factories.

She is a leader among the 75 midwives in Esteli. Her current dream is open a midwifery school, since the average age of midwives in the region is over 50. Mama has also been trained in western and natural medicine, which is both grown and produced locally. She is known for her mistela which is used for after a baby is born to reduce bleeding and cramps. She brews it herself. Visit our website to support Mama’s work: www.mamasclinic.org

As result of Mama’s dream, we co-founded ICAS/Juntos Adelante, a not-for-profit that focuses on health and human rights in Nicaragua. Juntos Adelante means “Together Forward”. The organization specifically seeks out proposals from local leaders that are community initiated/grass roots projects that strengthen the health infrastructure. These projects are discrete, sustainable and are conceived of by and created for Nicaraguans.

To share our philosophy of listening and respecting local leaders and building long term relationships in one community, we designed a global nursing rotation where over 60 students learned what it was like to listen without a preconceive notion or agenda, provide services in low resource settings and discover the true nature of collaboration—where projects are designed by the community, operated by the community and meet the specific needs of the community. We hope to encourage using this model for other development projects. We have mentored nursing students who have gone on to contribute globally providing clinical services in Haiti, Afghanistan, Burundi, Sudan.

Learn More

You may also enjoy the podcast of our interview on Chicago Public Radio

Here is follow-up radio interview from 2011, which high lights how a radio listener of the first segment was inspired to get involved with the Midwifery Clinic.

Thank you!!




> How to create a Project.