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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, [...]

Seeing Roya Firsthand In the Coffee Fincas of Matagalpa with COOMPROCOM

Managua          We rolled out at dawn for Matagalpa with Managua stirring all around us as the city waited on corners for buses to work. In two and a half hours ,we were rolling up the narrow streets and steep hills looking for the gas station near the Centro, which was our landmark, in a journey [...]

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 [...]

Local Government in Nicaragua: Post-Revolution or Advanced Neo-Liberalism?

Managua            We cut a deal with the hotel van driver for a lift to Casa de Mujer in the Tipitapa barrio, a large low and moderate income community on the outskirts of Managua. We were going there to meet with representatives of two groups, the first were the women who worked as promotoras, or volunteer [...]

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 [...]