Churches invade Indio-Maiz Biological Reserve

Faith moves mountains. It is a popular expression frequently used in Nicaragua, however if we had to adapt this phrase to the current situation of Indio Maiz, we would have to say faith does not move but is rather pushing nature away by invading the limits and destroying it. We say this because some churches and the local representatives are also stealing land.

In the last few years we have seen how some religious temples have been constructed, especially evangelical, in the core zone of Indio Maiz. The shepherd, or the representative of the different religions, arrive to these settlements with the purpose of preaching and creating a congregation.

These people can come from the buffer zone or other regions of the country and they take land in Indio Maiz. Later on, they promote the arrival of settlers that are living in nearby areas outside of Indio Maiz by offering them a place to stay in return for being part of the congregation. Once their membership has grown, they start the construction of their building for which they ask for funding from their members, and the support, in many cases, of the city hall in El Castillo.

Since 2018 the Batallon Civico Indio-Maiz and the environmental foundation Fundacion del Rio reported and documented 17 chapels or temples in the core zone of Indio Maiz. Despite these efforts the number of buildings such as these are rising, and reports are expected to increase.