Nicaragua: Revolution, Transformation, and Civil Society

Key Features

Class at the Palacio Nacional with Eden Pastora who overthrew Somoza

The SIT Nicaragua program treats the literacy campaigns of the Nicaraguan and Cuban revolutions as points of origin for the expansion of awareness of human, health, and educational rights, and as a backdrop to current demands and achievements — particularly by youth — in terms  of information and expression.

Program highlights:

  • Engage in writing workshops with community members.
  • Interact with Nicaraguan and Cuban youth who are assuming roles as political protagonists, artists, writers, and media producers.
  • Visit women’s centers and interview architects of Nicaragua’s autonomous feminist movement.
  • Work on projects with local radio stations in rural and urban settings.
  • Engage with a range of people with simple technology to both elicit and share dialog.
  • Visit a university on the Caribbean coast dedicated to working with students from different ethnic groups.

Live in Managua (program base).
During the first seven weeks of the program, students live with host families in Managua, the capital of Nicaragua and the country’s largest city, home to more than one million people. Managua is known as the city “where the streets have no names.” While at times this might be challenging, students learn to navigate the city’s streets through historic reference points. As Nicaragua’s economic and political center, Managua has a wide variety of cultural offerings including theaters, museums, and a highly appreciated cuisine.  

Engage with academic, professional, and community experts.
Students are exposed to a broad array of perspectives and in-country entities, particularly those engaged with the program’s themes: youth culture, expression, contemporary history, politics, and advocacy. 

Resources and partners in Nicaragua typically include:

  • Universidad Centroamericana (UCA)
  • Centro de Estudios e Investigaciones sobre la Salud (CIES)
  • Universidad de las Regiones Autónomas de la Costa Caribe Nicaragüense (URACAAN)
  • Programa Feminista Centroamericano La Corriente
  • Centro de Prevención de la Violencia (CEPREV)
  • Former leaders in the Frente Sandinista de Liberación Nacional and the Resistencia Nicaragüense

Resources and partners in Cuba typically include:

  • Instituto de la Literatura y Lingüística, La Habana
  • Asociación Hermanos Saiz, La Habana  

Notable excursions and events

  • In the spring semester, students travel to the city of Granada for the International Poetry Festival to immerse themselves in Nicaraguan poetry, music, and literary presentations.
  • In both semesters, students visit Solentiname, an island community of artists, which offers students an opportunity to learn about expression, radical protest, and the arts in a beautiful setting. Students can read about the island of Solentiname in Julio Cortazar’s "Apocalípsis de Solentiname."
  • In both semesters, students also visit Cuba, allowing them to gain an additional perspective on literacy and youth issues.
  • Students participate in the creation of digital oral histories with Podcasts for Peace in the paradoxical community of Acahualinca.
  • By visiting public spaces throughout Managua, including worker’s monuments, the Peace Park, and roundabouts, students analyze the use of public space, memory, and discourse within the ever changing landscape of the capital city.

Learn more about the program’s visits outside Managua.

Independent Study Project (ISP)
Through a final independent research project, students explore a specific issue related to youth culture and expression. Students may conduct research for their ISP in Managua or other sites in Nicaragua, as approved by the academic director.

Sample ISP topics include:

  • Youth and radio
  • Tweets and texts in Nicaragua
  • Art and protest over two generations
  • Sexual literacy and expression in Managua
  • Poetry, politics, and gender
  • Higher education and identity among indigenous students

Costs Dates

Credits: 16

Duration: 15 weeks

Program Base: Managua

Language Study: Spanish

Prerequisites: 3 semesters Spanish

View Student Evaluations for this program:

About the Evaluations (PDF)

Fall 2013 Evaluations (PDF)
Spring 2013 Evaluations (PDF)
Fall 2012 Evaluations (PDF)

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