Background Of Adelante Mujer

Adelante Mujer, Inc./Advance Woman was founded in 2009 by Sister Ann McKean, CSA when she met an academically superior Nicaraguan high school graduate. The young woman wanted to pursue a university education but was unable to do so because she did not have the money. Beginning at that moment Sister Ann, herself a university professor was inspired to do everything in her power to financially assist similar young Nicaraguan women with aspirations for a college degree they could not afford.

Adelante Mujer, recognizing the dire need for medical doctors on the Caribbean Coast of Nicaragua, it was decided to focus the ministry on women who aspire to become medical doctors. The organization provides funds for needy young women who would otherwise not be able to afford the cost of six years of study required by the medical school at URACCAN (University of the Autonomous Regions of the Nicaraguan Caribbean Coast). Each month our recipients are given money to help pay for school supplies and for the expensive medical supplies and equipment uniquely required for medical students. One meal per school day is also funded because many students can hardly afford this daily expense.

On December 12, 2014 the first eight beneficiaries of Adelante Mujer graduated as medical doctors.  Since that joy-filled day, an additional seven classes of students pronounced the age-old Hippocratic Oath and became doctors.  As of Fedruary 17, 2024 the total number of doctors funded by Adelante Mujer is 89, thanks to the many generous donors who helped their dream come true.

At this time, there are 56 young women who are Adelante Mujer medical students. Any donation, large or small, is greatly needed and will benefit the education of young women whose medical service will be offered to people of the Caribbean Coast of Nicaragua.

our timeline:


  • 14 new graduates brought the total number of doctors funded by Alelante Mujer to 89!
  • The Board of Directors created a 3-year strategic plan
  • Kaitlyn, Boscaljon is hired as the new Executive Director
  • Political tensions in Nicaragua continue to make the travel imposible.
  • Alelante Mujer launches a new mission and vision statement along with a new logo


  • To date, 75 doctors have benefited by Adelante Mujer funding
  • 50 medical students receive money to help pay their monthly expenses
  • Due to recurrence of cancer, Karen Heuberger resigned and Sister Diane Bauknecht, CSA has returned as Executive Director


  • Total number of Adelante Mujer doctors rose to 70
  • Dr. Ana C. earned the title of pediatric specialist, a second Adelante Mujer specialist
  • 44 students were funded each semester
  • Semester visits did not occur due to Covid and tensions in Nicaragua


  • Seven new doctors brought the total funded by Adelante Mujer to 61
  • Doctor Joice became the first Adelante Mujer doctor to become a specialist, a pediatrician
  • 45 students received funding
  • Karen Heuberger was hired as the third Executive Director following Sister Ann McKean, CSA and Sister Diane Bauknecht, CSA


  • Nine students became doctors on February 21, 2020
  • 42 women were in the Adelante Mujer program in semester one
  • Sister Ann McKean, CSA, PhD was featured by the Illuminating Women Project for her unique Adelante Mujer initiative to financially assist women medical students in Nicaragua
  • On April 11 Sister Ann McKean, CSA entered her heavenly home
  • 49 students were recipients of Adelante Mujer funding for semester two
  • Adelante Mujer “International Headquarters” moved to Main Street in Fond du Lac


  • Adelante Mujer was recognized for its “unconditional support for women medical students in the Intercultural Medicine Program” of URACCAN University in Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua
  • Adelante Mujer observed its Tenth Anniversary since its inception in 2009
  • 38 medical students were in the Adelante Mujer program
  • Board of Directors accepted Sister Ann McKean’s, CSA retirement letter and named Sister Diane Bauknecht, CSA to succeed her as Executive Director, effective April 1, 2019.  As Foundress of the program, Sister Ann was named Emerita Member of the Board
  • Fourteen students became medical doctors on March 23, 2019, making the total 45


  • All 8 members of the 2014 class completed post-doctoral requirements and received licenses to practice medicine in Nicaragua
  • A total of 42 medical students were funded through 2018
  • February 24, nine students graduated, becoming medical doctors, bringing the total to 31
  • Due to civil unrest in Nicaragua, the first semester trip to Bilwi/Puerto Cabezas was cancelled


  • The Board of Directors Development Committee prepared the first annual report
  • The 2014 class of 8 doctors entered its second of a two-year social service requirement of the Nicaraguan Ministry of Health for fully licensed physicians
  • 30 women were medical students during semester one of 2017 and 8 more were added the second semester


  • December 5, nine students graduated bringing the total number to 22
  • Executive, Finance, and Development Committees were established
  • Twenty-eight students continued to be sponsored by our donors
  • On January 27, five students took the Hippocratic Oath and became medical doctors. They began their internship at the local hospital in February
  • The eight doctors of 2014 began their two years of required social service in clinics and hospitals assigned by the Nicaraguan Ministry of Health
  • Thirteen medical doctors served in various venues of Eastern Nicaragua
  • Twenty-three students were awarded funding for the first semester
  • The Strategic Planning Committee initiated its work, to be updated at every meeting of the Board of Directors
  • Two new members were added to the Board of Directors bringing the number to nine


  • Seventeen students received funding during the first semester, 4 more added the second semester
  • Thanks to the donated time and expertise of a generous friend and benefactor, a website was launched
  • An accounting computer program was adopted for financial record keeping and reporting
  • The Board of Directors engaged in a Strategic Planning Retreat to begin a design for the long-term future of Adelante Mujer


  • An Executive Team and a Board of Directors were named
  • Adelante Mujer became a corporation and received 501(c)(3) tax exempt status
  • Twelve students were supported for semester one, 16 for semester two
  • The first class of eight Adelante Mujer students graduated on December 12, 2014 as medical doctors


  • The number of medical recipients of funding rose to 12
  • The decision was made to fund only female medical students


  • Thanks to the large grant we were able to support a total of ten medical students
  • Adelante Mujer received a large grant


  • Four female medical students were added in the first and six more in the second semester
  • Numerous donations and one small grant were received to help fund the growing number of students


  • The first student, a woman, was awarded funding from Adelante Mujer
  • Sister Ann began to solicit funds to financially assist young women medical students in eastern Nicaragua


    • Adelante Mujer was founded by Sister Ann
    • The Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes approved the venture
    • Sister Ann McKean, CSA researched universities and towns in eastern Nicaragua and chose URACCAN in Bilwi/Puerto Cabezas as a partner for Adelante Mujer