Cathedral of the Assumption of Mary in León, an iconic landmark

Our final SuNica spotlight for the Virtual Race is the home of our SuNica office…


León was founded in 1524 and is one of the two oldest cities in Nicaragua. There is actually a running feud between León and Granada as to which city was founded first. Many León residents maintain that the typical history books are incorrect and that León was founded a year earlier making them the original city in the country. No matter who has the rightful claim – León is full of rich history and home to some beautiful Spanish Colonial Architecture and many of Nicaragua’s majestic volcanoes. Leon is a college town that brings young people from near and far. It’s common for students to ride a bus for well over an hour every day to gain a higher education. 

In 2012, Josh and Betty were deciding where they were going to live, and almost chose Chinandega, but the college students that flock to León every week made it pretty clear that this was where the future SuNica HQ should be. If you’ve never met the SuNica staff they are a young bunch and most of them began as volunteers during their college years.

Josh and Betty’s first rental house in León pulled double duty as SuNica’s main headquarters. It was home to many SuNica firsts including mission teams and water project designs. In 2017, we upgraded to the two story location which we have once again outgrown. It’s been a great location for both staff and leaders as they can find a place to spend time on the weekends before or in between their university classes. Even with free tuition for high performing students, it is hard for aspiring students and their families to afford and cope with the long journey to and from León. SuNica’s scholarship program for our volunteers and sponsored students puts college within reach for many. And when mission teams aren’t in town, we have empty bunk beds available if they should ever get stuck in town! 

It’s a grand thing to see kids thrive and realize a greater potential. Research in the developing world shows that every additional year of education translates to a higher paying job – that’s why education is such an integral piece of the SuNica mission.

We hope you’ve enjoyed reading these little updates along the way of your 2021 Virtual Race!