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I am traveling to Nicaragua with Wisconsin Coordinating Council on Nicaragua (WCCN) from June 10-18, 2006 for their study seminar "Changing Nicaragua from the Ground Up: The Power and Promise of Nicaraguan Women."

Tuesday, June 13, 2006


In Leon at an internet cafe with a slow connection, and I really need my laptop (and notes, which once again I don't have) to upload photos and to say anything intelligent. We'll see what I can do tomorrow from Esteli. This morning we visited a women's group out in the countryside, and that was quite interesting. Carlos said that we were probably the first international group to visit them. They talked about the struggles that they faced--including needing more land for garden plots to feed their families and domestic violence--and advances such as literacy programs through which some women were learning to read and write. It struck me that these were some of the same issues that faced the country in the 1980s and that I thought that the Sandinistas had overcome then. That they did not raises issues of whether this was a shortcoming of the revolution, or whether the community was not properly organized in a fashion that would allow them to take advantage of openings from the revolution. It also raises what for me because quite interesting and core issues of whether state structures or social movements are better able to achieve social changes, tho the reality is that it perhaps requires a combination of both pressure from below and policy changes from inside.

In the afternoon we went to visit Pro-Mujer Nicaragua in Leon. They gave us an interesting and polished presentation on their work here. WCCN is discussing whether and how to work with them.

Then we walked a bit around Leon to see some of its revolutionary history. We looked at some murals and visited a museum and the house where the first Somoza was killed in 1956. When I get my digital camera, laptop, and internet connection together, I will upload pix. I have some interesting ones.

long slow dinner and now it is late and i never get done everything i would like to do and want to do in the evenings....
</Marc> <!--8:12 PM-->

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