In 1984, arrangements were made with the American Franciscan community in Nicaragua for three Scarboro priests to work in their mission area in the northeastern part of the country. At that time Nicaragua was in the midst of an armed conflict. The country had been invaded and was under attack by rebel forces known as the Contras who were attempting to undermine and overthrow the Sandinista government.
Since the area served by the Franciscans was in the war zone, the work of these Scarboro missionaries was all the more difficult and dangerous. They were attempting to minister to people caught in the crossfire. One of these missioners, Fr. Joe Curcio, served as pastor in the small town of Muelle de los Bueyes, about five hours drive from the capital of Managua. He witnessed firsthand the devastation brought to families and to the economy as a result of the 10-year war.
From 1987 to 1992, Fr. Robert (Buddy) Smith worked on the island of Ometepe in Lake Nicaragua, journeying with people who were struggling for life in the midst of armed conflict and then in the aftermath of war.