Nicaragua: Revolution, Transformation, and Civil Society
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Faculty and Staff
Aynn Setright, Academic Director
A native of Wyoming, Aynn Setright first came to Nicaragua in 1985 with an organization called Witness for Peace. As a long-term volunteer with Witness for Peace, Aynn drove an ambulance in the war zone and worked with a rural Catholic parish in the northern mountains of Nicaragua. From 1987 to 1993 she was the coordinator of a small development organization, Proyecto Cristo Rey, working with 800 war refugee families in sixteen resettlement communities in Matagalpa and the North and South Atlantic Autonomous Regions (RAAN and RAAS). This project was awarded the Institute for Policy Studies Letelier-Moffit Memorial Human Rights Award in 1991. Aynn has a B.A. in international studies from the University of Wyoming and an M.A. in Latin American and Caribbean history from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Nicaragua (UNAN), Managua. She is currently completing a Ph.D. in social sciences from the University of Zulia, Venezuela. Aynn has been the academic director for SIT Study Abroad in Nicaragua since 1999. She is a member of the Latin American Studies Association and participates in the Central American Studies Section of LASA as well as in the Central American Historians Association. Aynn also currently serves on the Board of the Association of Academic Programs in Latin America and the Caribbean (AAPLAC).
Key instructors for this program include:
Dora María Téllez, Lead Instructor (History Module)
Dora María received her M.A. in history from the Universidad Centroamericana (UCA) in Managua in 1998. Since 1997, she has been a professor and thesis tutor at the Universidad de la Regiones Autónomas de la Costa Caribe de Nicaragua (URACCAN) and at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Nicaragua. Dora María has published a number of essays on diverse topics and in 1999 published the book ¡Muera la Gobierna! The book analyzes the socioeconomic development of Matagalpa and Jinotega in the 19th century amidst the expansion of coffee and indigenous struggles to defend their rights. She is currently an associate of the Instituto de Historia de Nicaragua y Centroamérica (IHNCA) and an internationally renowned analyst and consultant on public policy.
Dora María joined the Frente Sandinista de Liberación Nacional in 1977 and played a decisive role during the armed struggle against the Somoza Family Military Dictatorship. After the Sandinista triumph, she was named Representative to the State Council (in 1980) and served as the Vice President of the State Council until 1984. She was elected as a Deputy to the National Assembly and served in this legislative body from 1985-1991. She was appointed as the Nicaraguan Minister of Health in 1985, a position she held until 1990. Dora Maria was elected to a second term as Deputy to the National Assembly representing the FSLN from 1990-1996. In the National Assembly, she presided over the Comisión de Asuntos Económicos, Finanzas y Presupuesto and also served on other commissions including the Commission for Constitutional Reforms in 1995. She is the founding president of the Movimiento Renovador Sandinista (MRS). Dora María currently coordinates a regional virtual library, ENLACE, through the Institute of History of Nicaragua and Central America.
Dora María has taught the history module for SIT Study Abroad Nicaragua since 2004.
María Teresa Blandón Gadea, Lead Instructor (Social Movements/Civil Society Module)
María Teresa earned her B.A. in social sciences from the Universidad Centroamericana (UCA) in 1991 and later completed an M.A. at the Universidad de Barcelona in Gender and Development. She is currently the director of the Gender and Development Master’s Program at UCA and regularly serves as a consultant with a multitude of NGOs and multinational organizations on gender issues. María Teresa has taught numerous post-graduate courses including Investigation with a Gender Focus, Feminist Theory, Identity and Subjectivity, Sexuality and Reproductive Rights, and Citizenship. María Teresa co-authored Nicaragua: “Voces sobre el aborto, desde la ciencia, los derechos y la fé” published in 2006 by Católicas por el Derecho a Decidir. She is also the co-author of A Regional Investigation and Analysis on the Participation of Women in Elected Offices, published by the Asociación de Mujeres Profesionales para el Desarrollo Integral (AMPDI).
María Teresa is the founder and regional coordinator of La Corriente, a Central American feminist organization launched in 1993. La Corriente seeks to contribute and strengthen the women’s movement in Central America through research, analysis, and debate on the situation of women in Central America, in the specific social, cultural, economic, and political context of the region. Under María Teresa’s leadership, La Corriente has produced diverse research and publications, as well as organized national, regional, and international meetings to strengthen the feminist movement.
María Teresa has taught and coordinated the social movements/civil society module for SIT Study Abroad Nicaragua since 2000.
Zoilamérica Narváez, Academic Coordinator with the Center for International Studies
Zoilamérica Narváez graduated with a B.A. in sociology in 1995 from the Universidad Centroaméricana (UCA) in Managua and completed post-graduate studies in conflict transformation at the Easter Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, Virginia.
Zoilamérica is currently the executive director of the Centro de Estudios Internacionales (CEI) and the founding director of Fundación Sobrevivientes, an organization dedicated to supporting victims of sexual abuse. Zoilamérica and the Centro de Estudio Internacionales are renowned for their work in peace studies and conflict resolution during the post-war period in Nicaragua. CEI has worked laboriously with former combatants from the Nicaraguan Resistance and with former Sandinista soldiers. The formation of the Peace Promoters and the development of Peace Promoter Networks have been used as a model in other post-war societies and is the subject of the books: Una Tragedia Campesina and Los Desmovilizados Hablan.
Zoilamérica has collaborated with SIT Study Abroad Nicaragua as an ISP tutor since 2001 and collaborates with SIT Nicaragua on academic coordination through the Center for International Studies.
Duration: 15 weeks
Program Base: Nicaragua, Managua
Language Study: Spanish
Prerequisites: 3 semesters Spanish Read more...
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