Quest For Peace History
The Quest for Peace began in the midst of the Reagan administration’s proxy war in Nicaragua. The aim of the war was the destabilization or elimination of the new Sandinista government that had overthrown the Somoza regime. In the fear-soaked Cold War era the socialist policies of these revolutionaries in a small country in Central America were deemed a threat to the United States, and the US government acted with impunity to halt any progress in Nicaragua.
At the time, dreams of peace and friendship between the United States and Nicaragua seemed impossible, Quixotic even! As our government sent millions of dollars in war support, the Quest coordinated with the people of the United States to provide an equal measure humanitarian assistance. The results were astounding. During the first five years of the program over $227 million in material aid was shipped via container and distributed throughout the country to match the war funding.
In the time since the end of the fighting the Quest for Peace has continued to act in solidarity with our partners in Nicaragua by providing support and advocating for just US policies. We have funded community-based initiatives and large-scale social projects in Nicaragua, and have advocated against harmful trade and intervention here in the United States.
The Institute of John XXIII
For more than twenty five years the Quest has partnered with the Instituto de Acción Social Juan XXIII in Nicaragua. The Institute has been a fundamental component of large-scale development programs around the country. Ketxu Amezua, a long-time friend of the Quest and an inspiration to all she meets, has steered the Institute through political turmoil and difficult times with a steady hand. Edwin Novoa is continuing the legacy of success at the Institute as a new leader.
The work of the John XXIII has evolved into an integrated community development model that includes low-cost housing, job training, provision of medical supplies through pharmacies, and empowerment through community involvement. The Quest for Peace has consistently provided large amounts of unrestricted funding to the Institute to be used for programs that large institutions are unwilling to support. As European and US funding decreases due to budget shortages and politicking, the Quest for Peace will continue to support the dreams of our friends at the Institute of John XXIII.
The Federation of Campesinos began as an idea for empowerment and development in the northern part of Nicaragua. In partnership with John XXIII the Quest for Peace provided funding and support for FEDICAMP in the shaky early stages of the start-up organization.
In the years since, FEDICAMP has grown into a flourishing independent group that serves as an umbrella organization for small-scale local development associations. In a country that is largely agricultural, they provide technical assistance to farmers seeking sustainable and organic techniques that will not deplete the soil or poison the water. They provide materials and training for systems that bring potable drinking water to homes in isolated communities for the first time.