Nicaragua: Revolution, Transformation, and Civil Society
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“We were exposed to the protagonists of current Nicaraguan politics and civil society, which strengthened our grasp of the local realities we were witnessing outside of the classroom…The structure was very well put together, and our academic director and staff were absolutely fantastic.”
-- Program alum
Explore the legacy of the Sandinista Revolution and its influence on Central American political and social movements. Examine current challenges to democracy and civil society in Nicaragua.
Students consider the repercussions of recent Central American revolutionary movements, including those focused on women, indigenous people, campesinos/as, and the environment, and also discuss Nicaragua’s future.
Study key topics of contemporary relevance to Nicaragua and its neighbors such as:
- Nicaragua’s political and economic history including US involvement in Central America and the Caribbean; the Sandinista Revolution and the Contra War; neoliberalism, privatization, and structural adjustment programs, as well as 21st century socialism and ALBA.
- Social movements and civil society including grassroots movements; feminism; economic cooperatives, maquilas, and community development
- Coastal culture and identity including indigenous rights; aspirations and frustrations of regional autonomy; Creole and Garifuna culture; community health and resource management
Students travel to:
- Rural Matagalpa
- Creole and Garífuna and/or Miskito communities on the Caribbean Coast
- Costa Rica and the Solentiname/Rio San Juan
Students also visit the well-known Parque de La Paz (Peace Park) in Managua and typically have the chance to converse with former Sandinista and Contra combatants who have buried their past and are working today to promote reconciliation in rural communities.
Intensive instruction in Spanish and homestays in urban and rural settings help students become deeply immersed in Nicaraguan communities.
Cultivating a Culture of Peace
In 1979, Nicaragua was flung to the forefront of international attention with the triumph of the Sandinista Popular Revolution. Internal and US opposition to Sandinista reforms led to the Contra War, which cost an enormous number of Nicaraguan lives and devastated the economy. Today, despite significant progress towards national reconciliation, Nicaragua’s political structure and economic discourse continues to be polarized around key issues, and the country remains the second poorest in the Western Hemisphere. Nevertheless, despite its turbulent history and contemporary challenges, both Nicaragua and its neighbors have developed exemplary peaceful conflict resolution and administration processes that have been paradigmatic for other areas of the world.
|Spotlight on SIT Nicaragua alumni
Read fall 2012 student Briana Frenchmore's blog story titled Revolutionary Learning: Reflections on My Program's Excursion in Nicaragua and Beyond.
"What are we doing here?" a film co-created by SIT Study Abroad Alum, Daniel Klein, recently premiered at the Atlanta Film Festival. This controversial look at the international aid industry in Africa was also featured on CNN's Inside Africa - watch the video clip on YouTube.
Program alum Mindy Bridges (fall 2010) wins essay contest and $1000 prize for her ISP on a Culture of Peace in rural Nicaragua. Mindy tied for first place in CU-Boulder’s Dean Reed Peace Prize Essay Contest.
Duration: 15 weeks
Program Base: Managua
Language Study: Spanish
Prerequisites: 3 semesters Spanish Read more...
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