The rainy season in Nicaragua falls between May and November. This year, the first few months of the rainy season delivered a disappointing amount of rain. Its dry start has served to ominously remind many Nicaraguans of last year’s 4-month drought, one of the worst Central American droughts in decades. Last years drought heightened food insecurity, increased the economic disparity of hundreds of thousands of Central Americans, and negatively affected the agricultural sector by reducing crop yields. My community was not severely affected by last year’s drought but the drought did decrease the community’s agricultural productivity and caused food prices to increase in city markets in the months following the drought. For example, in the markets of Masaya and Granada, the price of a litre of red beans by the end of 2014 had reached more than double what it had been at the beginning of the year.Read More
Two weekends ago, I had the privilege of going to Casa Canadiense headquarters in Managua to attend a presentation given by Michael O'Sullivan, a professor of education at Brock University, and his two research assistants (one of whom is Ashely Rerrie, the other Casa Canadiense intern in Nicaragua this summer). His presentation was about the research he and Harry Smaller are conducting, research governed by the primary research question, "In what ways, both positive and negative, are host communities in the Global South impacted by International Service Learning initiatives?"Read More
I’ve been back in Canada for a little over a week, at this point. And as happy as I am to be back with family and friends here, it’s still hard not being with the friends I made while I was in Estelí this summer. I’ve got the majority of them on Facebook or WhatsApp, so we can talk once in a while, but it’s still not the same.Read More
As of today, I have been in Nicaragua for exactly one month. I have been living with my incredibly kind and welcoming host family in the community of La Granadilla for most of that time. La Granadilla is a relatively large rural community that lies under the shadow of the volcano Mombocho, and is about a half hour bus ride from Granada.Read More
I sat on the floor, camera in hand, waiting. Most of the crowd behind me had already cleared out, as it was getting late and rainy. The kids walked onto the stage, dressed in their uniforms and costumes – girls with woven baskets and long white skirts, boys with wooden machetes and woven hats. They all took their places: guitar in hand, standing behind the marimba, or on opposite sides of the stage, waiting to start. My heart was in my throat – I was nervous for them.Read More
My name is Sinead Dunphy. I’m a 19 year old student who recently completed her second year of undergraduate studies at the University of Toronto. I have always been passionate about learning other countries, peoples and cultures, about the Global “North” “South” relationship and about grassroots development work. This internship has given me the opportunity of immersing myself in Nicaraguan culture and community, has given me the privilege of living with and learning from the people of the community of La Granadilla, and has given me the chance to see and participate in a relatively new agro-ecological project that the community of La Granadilla, and UCA Tierra y Agua, has started to promote food and environmental security and sustainability. I am grateful and excited!
I’m two weeks into my three months in Nicaragua, so I figure it’s time for a blog post. I’m living in Esteli, Nicaragua, and working with Cooperativa Christine King, an organization here that has a lot of different programs. The cooperative has dance, art, and music classes for kids.Read More
Ashley Rerrie is a Masters student in the Development Studies program at York University. At 22 years old, Ashley has a passion for social justice, solidarity, and Nicaragua. Her research interests at York include community development and relationships of solidarity between the Global North and Global South. She enjoys knitting, travel, and food. This summer Ashley is working for three months with one of Casa Pueblito’s partner communities in Esteli, Nicaragua: Cooperativa Christine King. At Cooperativa Christine King, she helps out with dance and art classes for kids aged 3-9 and works with the ISIS project which travels to different communities to give seminars on self-esteem, sexual and reproductive health, and domestic violence prevention. Ashley is excited to be back in Nicaragua for the summer so that she can get her hands on rosquilla and tortillas. Her Twitter handle is @amrerrie.