Nicaragua: Revolution, Transformation, and Civil Society
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Students in the SIT Nicaragua program live with homestay families in urban and rural areas so that students are able to experience daily life in different Nicaraguan communities. Homestays are comprised of a wide cross-section of families and include multi-generational families, single working moms, and nuclear families. In some cases, students may share in the reality of electricity and water rationing.
Other accommodations during the program include hostels, private homes, or small hotels.
Managua (Seven weeks)
Students live with homestay families in the Colonia Máximo Jérez neighborhood in Managua for seven weeks. Máximo is a working class neighborhood centrally located in the city. It was also the community where many supporters of the Sandinista Revolution lived during the 1980s and is the subject of several ethnographies written by US scholars. During his visit to Nicaragua in 1987, Salmon Rushdie stayed in Máximo Jérez where he wrote The Jaguar Smiles.
Rural homestay (One week)
Students live with an agricultural cooperative in Matagalpa for one week. Rural homestay families are often extended family units, and families come from small impoverished rural communities. In some communities the families own their own parcels of land; in other cases, they are farm workers for larger agricultural producers, primarily coffee producers. In many communities there is a strong community organization structure though they suffer from a lack of infrastructure and social services.
Students participate in the daily life of the campesina host family. Daily activities and chores could include helping family members wash clothes in the river, grind corn for tortillas, pick coffee, and work in the fields. The church is the center of many rural communities, and students are typically invited to participate in community religious activities.
Living with campesina families for a week gives students an opportunity to better understand and grapple with material poverty and is a true Spanish language immersion experience. The rural homestay takes place early in the semester to provide students a crucial framework for course lectures.
Meet the homestay mothers in Managua
"Greetings! We are 20 women who live with our families in Colonia Máximo Jerez, a neighborhood of Managua where you will have your homestay. We have a great deal of experience hosting university students from the United States in our homes."
"Hola, somos 20 mujeres que vivimos con nuestras familias en la Colonia Máximo Jerez, contamos con gran experiencia brindando atención a muchachas y muchachos de las universidades de Estados Unidos."
Duration: 15 weeks
Program Base: Managua
Language Study: Spanish
Prerequisites: 3 semesters Spanish Read more...
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