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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."

Saturday, June 17, 2006


Went to Masaya today. Uploaded last set of delegation fotos. Time to eat.
</Marc> <!--6:09 PM-->

Friday, June 16, 2006


Working on the website for the Movimiento Autonomo de Mujeres. Come visit us at
</Marc> <!--11:34 PM-->


Back in Managua at Casa San Juan. Uploading fotos, and we're going out for another visit soon.
</Marc> <!--9:35 AM-->

Thursday, June 15, 2006


In Esteli. This morning we went to visit the Fundacion Entre Mujeres that is helping women-run cooperatives to market their own coffee. It looks like an interesting and well-run project. I started asking too many questions about social movements vs electoral politics until everyone got sick of my dominating the conversation. I will try to shut up now.
</Marc> <!--1:23 PM-->

Wednesday, June 14, 2006


Arrived in Esteli about 7 pm tonite, and sitting in a painfully slow internet cafe again w-o pix. Spent the day around Malpaisillo with the women´s group Xochilt-Acalt. They are a very interesting and motivated group. In the morning we met with a youth group. After talking about a variety of issues for a while we asked them what they thought about the United States. The first student said that they watch TV and get positive images and like what they see. Then another student asked why the Bush administration is so harsh on immigrants. They have an image of the government violently removing people, and even killing them. It fills them with fear and sadness. After all, the immigrants are only going to work. Why does the government not want that? Racist and xenophobic attitudes and policies in the U.S. present a very bad image around the world.

We then met with a women´s group in the afternoon. I´ll try to write up something about that later. Our new bus had electrical problems (I think the starter is out) and we weren´t sure we were going to make it to Esteli, but here we are now--in a painfully slow internet cafe. good nite.
</Marc> <!--8:42 PM-->

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-->

Monday, June 12, 2006


We arrived in Leon tonite after a bit of a delay due to the bus breaking down half way from Managua. So, we got to sit alongside the road and watch the traffic go by. Then we got to our hotel and went out to eat and some kids on a bike flew past and grabbed Mary Ann's purse. Bummer.

This morning in Managua we had three meetings. I'll try to post summaries and details later. Right now I am in a cyber cafe (right next to the Ben Linder cafe!) without my notes or laptop, so I can´t even upload pix from today. Maybe tomorrow. But we are having interesting discussions about feminism and empowerment and social movements and is giving me good ideas and material for my courses.

Anyway, that´s about all for now. Virginia is probably writing more interesting things in her blog, so go over there.
</Marc> <!--9:07 PM-->

Sunday, June 11, 2006


This morning, José Luis Rocha, a researcher from Envío gave us an overview of Nicaraguan history and an analysis (coyuntura) of current events. Maybe later I will try to summarize his talk.

In the afternoon we took a tour of Managua, starting at the new Cathedral, Tiscapa hill, Parque de la Paz, the old cathedral, Lake Managua, and ending up at the Batahola Community Center. I'll try to upload some photos in a bit.
</Marc> <!--8:33 PM-->

Saturday, June 10, 2006


Arrived ok in Managua. Did 2 of my very favorite things this morning--got up at 2 am to get on the Vangalder bus to Ohare to catch the flight. Oh, yeah, and then there is being smashed in a plane--a third favorite thing. But I am here ok, and the program really starts tomorrow. tired. goodnite.
</Marc> <!--9:10 PM-->

Monday, May 29, 2006


Setting up blog so I'm ready to travel!
</Marc> <!--7:14 PM-->

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