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Official name Teyocoyani (old Nahualt-word which means "human designer".
Country / Continent Nicaragua / South America
Director of the institute From the Rotunda [roundabout?] Rubén Darío 150 meters down, building "El Ciprés".

post box: Apartado Postal LM-131, Managua, Nicaragua.

Legal holder of the institute The President of the direction is currently José Argüello Lacayo.
Sponsor of the institute Not applicable
Year of foundation 1990
Number of staff (employees, freelancers, volunteers) 5 full-time lecturers (capacitadores); 2 fee lecturers (capacitadores honorarios), 2 persons in administrative tasks and one driver.
Staff members of your institute 1 priest, a nun and the rest are lay people.
Contact Post box: Apartado Postal LM-131, Managua, Nicaragua.


Particulars of your pastoral institute

Official name

Teyocoyani (old Nahualt-word which means "human designer".

Director of the institute

From the Rotunda [roundabout?] Rubén Darío 150 meters down, building "El Ciprés".

post box: Apartado Postal LM-131, Managua, Nicaragua.

Legal holder of the institute

The President of the direction is currently José Argüello Lacayo.

Not applicable

Vision / mission statement

  1. Vision: Renewed Church, which is committed to building the Kingdom.
  2. Mission: To strengthen the lay leaders in the church of Nicaragua.

Main areas of work

  1. To strengthen the lay leaders.
  2. To train/educate Christian leaders on the basis of "Bible entertainers" in their communities through learning to use a participatory methodology and to read and interpret the Bible in relation to their own reality.
  3. To accompany a process of growth in Christian faith and reflection on the search for social justice, gender equality, respect for creation, community involvement and the development starting from the marginalized sectors.
  4. To assist the Christian communities and groups in the country parishes of Nicaragua with a program of theological, biblical and pastoral training/formation that helps them to be subjects of their own development process at the level of society and community.

Addressees of your work (course participants[1])

  1. The courses initiated by us attempt to provide a theological training/formation for lay people who work as basic Christian community leaders in country parishes and in some urban sectors. Our courses are mainly to train the "word of God delegates" [Delegados de la Palabra de Dios; lay people who preach, catechize etc.] men and women who play a crucial role in the country and everything that concerns the integral development of local communities.
  2. The education and training in our socio-religious reality of the basic Christian leadership contributes through these courses to revitalize the evangelization and human promotion, starting from the gospel and towards the Christian values of justice and brotherhood.

Asemblea General

Junta Directiva

            Area Administrativa                                                  Equipo de Trabajo

Contador                    Secretaria Administrativa                  Responsable del Equipo

                                   Conductor                                          Encargado/a Planificacion

                                                                                              Encargado/a Elaboracion de Materiales

Year of foundation


Organisational structure of the institute

See the above chart:

General Assembly
Leadership / Management

            administrative ambit                   work team

Bookkeeper      administrative secretariatperson in charge of the team

                                   driver                                   supervisor(s) for planninug

                                                                                        supervisor(s) for material processing

Number of staff (employees, freelancers, volunteers)

5 full-time lecturers (capacitadores); 2 fee lecturers (capacitadores honorarios), 2 persons in administrative tasks and one driver.

Staff members of your institute[2]

1 priest, a nun and the rest are lay people.

Qualifications of staff members of your institute

We lecturer (capacitadores) are trained in philosophy, theology, sociology, agronomy and catechesis; the administrative staff in bookkeeping, secretarial and business administration.

Questions relating to the work of your institute

What pastoral options do you feel obliged to?

Our option is the support of leaders in communities/parishes (catechists and "Word of God delegates") of rural and semi urban areas - mainly campesinos - who commit themselves as religious leaders in the social development of their communities.

What are the pastoral focus areas of your institute?

We work like transversal axes: the importance of the role of lay people in church and the need of their education/formation; the family as breeding ground of attitudes and values; the social and community dimensions of faith; the Christian responsibility for the preservation of creation; the promotion of human rights and the recognition of the dignity of the woman with the goal of transformation of relations in society and community.

What pastoral aims does your institute pursue?

To achieve that the lay people take over a protagonist role in the Nicaraguan church and assume their social and political mission in maturity.

What pastoral services does your institute provide?

  1. Introductory Bible courses, old and new Testament.
  2. Courses on pastoral vocation and mission of lay people, family, partnership, spirituality of human rights, integrity of creation, women in the Bible and the pastoral challenges, which the document of Aparecida means for the reality of Nicaragua.
  3. courses on teaching of the Church: basic topics about the Church, sacraments, Eucharist and catechesis on the Creed.

What pastoral processes have you initiated or accompanied recently?

Process of training and further training of teams at local, parish and diocesan level.

What does this mean for the areas of catechesis, deaconry and liturgy?

  1. Liturgy: we are helping to enrich the content of sermons by lay people through establishing a connection between the word of God and the life (the Sunday sermon in Nicaragua is mainly in the hands of the lay people because the overwhelming majority of municipalities/parishes have no available priests, but a "word of God delegate" in this ministry).
  2. Catechesis: we are helping to enrich the content and methodology of pre-sacramental catechesis in the parishes where we work.
  3. Diaconia: we have achieved that the involvement of the laity in society and community is done by faith and motivated by it.

What notion of God inspires your work?

We are inspired of a close, liberating, solidary, loving, merciful God who wants us to grow and mature and who is among of all events of life.

In how far does Christian spirituality shape your work?

We could not understand our work outside of Christian spirituality; we are committed to the impoverished based on our following of Jesus. Our concern is to place reliance on the most vulnerable of our society and the church.

What processes do you use or develop to analyse reality? How are these elaborated and how are they linked to pastoral care? How do you pass these processes on?

For each workshop, we start from the reality of the issue that we analyze; we plan the topic according to the situation that the participants live individually and collectively and we encourage the critical analysis of the economic, political, social and religious aspects and brighten them according to faith, through the educational dialogue.

What prophetic approaches does the institute put into practice with a view to shaping society?

We realize a context- and living related interpretation of the Bible to help participants to become aware that the reality in which we live (environmental degradation, inequitable distribution of the goods of life, sexual discrimination, unfair wages, corruption, disregard of civil rights) is contrary to the project of God that Jesus proclaimed and lived.

What does the work of the institute involve exactly? (Framework conditions? Publications? Courses? Lectures? Congress?...)

We develop inter-diocesan and parochial courses with a period of one week. We are a traveling team: we visit the more remote areas of Nicaragua, where the training centers offered by the parishes often offer very inadequate conditions. We are traveling in two cars with four-wheel drive on very bad "streets". Occasionally, we also assume lecture activities (for parishes, diocesan gatherings, and religious conference in Nicaragua) and hold lectures on different subjects on request. We regularly publish books and educational leaflets, which have closed a big gap in the material for formation of the laity in the church in Nicaragua.

What magazines, periodicals, books, manuals, work aids, methodological instructions etc. does your institute publish?

Leaflets and books containing thousands of copies that are used within and outside of Nicaragua. Some are available on our website: teyocoyani.org.

What do you consider to be the most important service of your institute?

The mission of the laity in church and society and therefore, in relation to that the development of the topic of partnership and family from a perspective that is attractive and renewing for the pastoral based on new attitudes and values.

How do you evaluate the work of your institute?

In any educational activity we evaluate together with the participants. We work out evaluative and procedural information on each workshop. Furthermore the team makes an evaluation each year of the work done and we regularly call an expert who helps us to prepare a more comprehensive evaluation of the echo and the impact of our work.

What are the most important developments that you are dealing with at present?

  1. To strengthen the education/formation of leaders in the communities through a gradual and systematic process with a curriculum that includes a first stage of three years (four courses per year) and a second stage of three years (two courses per year ). The participation of annual intensive Bible courses with inter-diocesan character during three years (two per year) should be added.
  2. To encourage local training teams.
  3. To ensure the theological training of our own personnel for the future, so that the work of Teyocoyani will continue when we, who have begun it, retire.

What are the main difficulties your institute is confronted with in its work?

  1. To achieve the resistance of the participants over several years.
  2. The low academic level that they have and the situation of extreme poverty from where they come.
  3. Frequent changes of priests hinder the training process; the lack of awareness among some of them on the urgency of the formation/education of lay people.

What challenges do you perceive for your institute at present?

  1. The theological education of lecturers (capacitadores) so that Teyocoyani can continue his work in the future.
  2. To consolidate local, parochial and diocesan education teams.
  3. To continue with the elaboration of didactic material.

What hopes, dreams and visions do you have for your institute?

  1. That the awareness of the urgency of theological education will grow in all ecclesial areas of Nicaragua.
  2. That our work contributes to the consolidation of a more participatory, socially inclusive church that is committed to social justice, reconciliation and the preservation of creation.
  3. That we all as members of the Church feel like employees in building the Kingdom.
  4. To reach a mature laity according to the faith and a solid Christian spirituality which it is committed to the transformation of Nicaragua.

To what extent does your institute support laypeople in the Church and in society?

We dedicate ourselves completely to this task and that is our main purpose.

How do you communicate your experiences and results to the respective local church, to neighbouring local churches and to other addressees (e.g. institutions affiliated to you)?

We send annual pictorial information to the bishops who approve our work, we also seek personal meetings to communicate the processes which we live; we send annual newsletters to friendly institutions and parishes.

To what extent does cooperation with the Bishops’ Conference of your country or with your diocese take place?

We work with specific dioceses, particularly in the Apostolic Vicariate of Bluefield’s and in the diocese of Juigalpa. In the other dioceses our work takes part on the parish level.

What linkages/networks are in existence at national level?

Among other things, the network of catechists, youth ministry, pastoral accompaniment of migrants, children's charity. There is also a religious conference in Nicaragua (CONFER).

What linkages/networks are in existence at international level?

We do not know any.

What kind of interreligious cooperation does take place with non-Christian religions?

It is not applicable in Nicaragua.

What kind of ecumenical cooperation does take place with non-Catholic churches?

It is not applicable in Nicaragua.

Which theological mergers/associations are you affiliated with (personally or as an institute)?

Currently we are not with any in relation.

How can we assist you with your intercontinental exchanges and with exchanges between the continents?

  1. We would like an illustrated magazine available, which promotes the exchange of experience between organisations similar to ours in other latitudes.
  2. To promote exchanges, contacts and links between institutions that do similar work.
  3. To make publications popular, which were compiled in different places.

  1. It would be interesting to know among other things whether course participants are active at parish, diocesan or supra-diocesan level and whether courses are attended by priests, religious or laypeople.
  2. It would be interesting to know among other things whether the staff members of the institute are priests, religious or laypeople.