What do migrants bring? Nicaraguan Teacher Dreams of Returning Home from Spain to Share Her Skills with Farmers

By Niurka Piñeiro, IOM Media and Communication Officer, Washington DC 

“These past seven years in Spain have been very good for me; I have learnt many things.  But now I have a new vision: I want to return home to Nicaragua and share my knowledge with my people.  If God gives me life, I will return to my home town and put in practice everything I’ve learnt about nutrition so that children will be healthier and farmers can improve their quality of life,” emphasizes Marta Morales, a Nicaraguan teacher who migrated to Spain in search of better economic opportunities.

“I love teaching.  I was a teacher in Nicaragua for 21 years.  I especially loved teaching first grade because it’s at that time that children learn to read.   I was happy with my job, but the salary was too low and I could not provide for my five children.”

“It was not easy in the beginning here in Spain.  But little by little I forged ahead.  Once I got a job I started saving so that I could bring my children to live with me. After two years of working and saving, I got a loan from my bank to pay for all the necessary documents and airfare for my children.”

Marta recalls with immense sadness the day her five children arrived in Madrid and were returned to Nicaragua right form the airport.   But she never lost hope of reuniting with her children.

“I figured it would be easier to get the children to Spain by splitting them up, so I brought two of them and later the other three.  It was definitely worth all the money and trouble.  Now they are all in school,” she says proudly.

“I wanted my children to be somebody; to stand out from the rest.  I have struggled and will continue to struggle to provide an education and better future for them.”

After remarrying in Spain, Marta and her husband rented an existing restaurant and now work together.  But she has clear plans for the future

“I came to Spain to have a better life, but not to stay forever.  I bought some land in my country; it has coffee and a little bit of everything planted.  I’m learning to make preserves so that I can return to Nicaragua to show farmers new things – how to survive doing different things, but also about better nutrition.”

*Marta visited a mobile Nicaraguan consulate in San Sebastian to obtain a consular identification card.  An IOM project, funded by the IOM Development Fund, is providing training on human rights protection to Nicaraguan consular officials and is supporting the issuance of the identification cards.