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The Nicaraguan Canal and Cry of Culture

Managua          The proposed “grand canal,” as the project is called in Nicaragua is the 72nd proposal in the last 500 years to build a waterway connecting the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean through Lake Nicaragua, the largest freshwater lake in Central America, and the San Juan River. This time it’s a no-bid 100-year concession signed between [...]

Nicaragua for My Father

New Orleans       My father, much missed, used to ask me whenever I returned from a country “new” to both of us not to tell him so much about what I had done, but what I had seen that would surprise or interest him.   In many ways, Nicaragua surprised all of us from the Organizers’ Forum.  [...]

Insiders and Outsiders in Nicaragua: The Isolated Atlantic and the Growing FNT

Organizers Forum crew with Jose Angel Bermudez, head of FNT, a labor federation.

Managua      In our final day of meetings we got a sense of the growing power of organized labor in Nicaragua and the continued, and perhaps increasing, isolation of the population along the Atlantic Coast, as we met Jose Angel Bermudez, [...]

Father Rob Currie in Arenal, Nicaragua Has Organized in the “Vineyards”

Managua          Mike Gallagher, veteran organizer and longtime friend and comrade, told me after his stay in Nicaragua earlier this year that Bob Currie was worth a visit. On the calendar for the Organizers’ Forum I had marked “small village case study.” I’m not sure if Father Currie had suggested that topic [...]

The Nicaraguan Informal Workers Union

Managua           The first day of the Organizers’ Forum dialogue in Nicaragua started inauspiciously, but somehow typically, with confusion. We happened to have arrived in Managua during the celebration of independence from Spain, which is a multi-day affair here with several days of holidays when business has pretty much ground to [...]

Are Peoples’ Services a Prelude to Peoples’ Empowerment for the Poor?

Managua         The Organizer’s Forum in Nicaragua will start with a bang on its first full day with a meeting with the head of the informal workers’ union followed by a visit with a representative of the Nicaraguan cooperative movement. Waking up early it was still sprinkling after more than a dozen hours of intermittently hard [...]