4. Managua Nicaragua

Managua Nicaragua Temple

Argument for:

Nicaragua and Belize are the only Central American countries without temples. Belize lacking one is understandable, as it has no stakes and only 11 branches in the entire country.

Nicaragua, on the other hand, has the largest population of LDS Church members without a temple – over 67,000 – spread across nine stakes and six districts.

Though activity rates are historically poor and retention rates are low, recent years have seen a drastic improvement in these key areas, with eight of the country’s nine stakes being organized since 2000. The Nicaragua Mission also split into North and South in 2010.

Also, the environmental study-less, Chinese-funded Nicaragua Canal might bring some financial heft to the area, but that’s a long shot. Plus, it would ruin Lake Nicaragua and pretty much jilt the entire country, but that’s a topic for another time!

Argument against:

Very little. Retention rates are still tough, but the Church is on the upswing here. The newly-dedicated Tegucigalpa Honduras Temple isn’t an unreasonable distance away. Neither is San Jose, Costa Rica. But we must remember distance is one thing, infrastructure to cross said distance is another.