Mayangna indigenous communities in northern Nicaragua are caught up in a life-and-death battle to defend their ancestral territory in the Bosawas Biosphere Reserve from the destruction wrought by invading settlers and illegal logging.
Nicaragua, which is prone to natural disasters like hurricanes, earthquakes and flooding, is confronting them with prevention measures and community drills and training in high-risk areas.
With strict security measures and the deployment of special heavily-armed troops, Nicaragua is waging a successful war in the courts, by sea, and on land against drug traffickers shipping drugs through Central America to the United States.
Luisa Gutiérrez, 65, dances a frenzied mambo on an unusual dance floor: a street in the Nicaraguan capital. Dozens of cars line up behind her, honking their horns impatiently, while she, surrounded by elderly people with canes, walkers and protest signs, dances to demand a government pension.
Carla lost everything when she got pregnant at the age of 13: her first year of secondary school, her family, her boyfriend, and her happiness. She spent a year panhandling on the streets of the Nicaraguan capital before she was taken in by a shelter for young mothers.
A bill under discussion in the Nicaraguan parliament has unleashed a nationwide debate on the concept of family.
Ignacia Matute looks back nostalgically on the days when the hills around her home in northwestern Nicaragua were blanketed in green, and she woke every morning to the sounds of birds singing in the treetops and the rushing waters of the nearly Coco River.
The rape of a young woman that has become a symbolic case in Nicaragua was ruled a "crime of passion" by the Supreme Court in a verdict that is suspected to have political overtones.
After a series of hunger strikes and vigils, Fátima Hernández had managed to become an exception, as one of the few rape victims in Nicaragua to obtain justice. But now her fight has started all over again and the hope that her case offered to others might become a mirage.
Karla Mendoza, a 26-year-old Nicaraguan, has worked hard to have a professional career. But despite two technical degrees, courses in computer science and public relations, a nearly complete university degree, and eight years of work experience, she is not there yet.
Edgard Walters, who belongs to the Association of Disabled and Active Divers of the Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua, has been in a wheelchair since 2003, when he made his last dive for lobster in the waters of the Caribbean.
The San Juan River, centre of discord and diplomatic conflicts between Costa Rica and Nicaragua, is seeing its riverbanks fill up with economic projects that scientists and environmentalists say will irreversibly alter its course.
Nicaragua has made some progress promoting gender equity and the empowerment of women, but it will have to step up efforts and overcome a number of hurdles if it is to eliminate inequalities between the sexes at all levels by 2015.
As he left a workshop in the Nicaraguan capital about gender equality, Alejandro Silva was forced to confront a show of machismo, ironically, with his fists. He was attacked by classmates who taunted him that he was gay.
Although their human rights are increasingly recognised, blacks in Mexico and Central America are the poorest and most marginalised people in Latin America, according to experts.