Exchanging Communities and Cultures
UUCSJ is excited to partner with Hijos del Maiz to offer week-long youth service journeys to Nicaragua.
This program is available for youth groups and multi-generational groups. Groups will learn Spanish, live and work with an amazing community in rural Nicaragua, and immerse themselves in Nicaragua culture and history.
What will the youth do in this program?
Groups have an option to spend a day or two exploring the area around Managua, Nicaragua’s main city. This could include meeting with historians and local organizations, visiting a volcano, and/or seeing other natural wonders.
Following the time in Managua, youth will spend 5-6 days in the community of El Lagartillo, where the grassroots organization Hijos del Maiz is based. Youth will live with homestay families, take daily Spanish classes, learn about the tragic and fascinating history of the community, learn about local initiatives and struggles, and potentially engage in a community service project.
Why should our youth group travel to Nicaragua?
- offer an opportunity for a “boundary-crossing” experience
- introduce youth to questions of power and privilege
- help youth gain a deeper understanding of global justice issues
- offer youth groups the chance to deepen bonds with each other and form relationships with people of all ages from a different culture
- offer an opportunity for multi-leveled growth and development (socially, spiritually, politically, etc.)
- inspire youth to engage in community justice issues back home
On the youth service journey to Nicaragua, youth will spend time reflecting on and learning about global power structures, and the role folks living in the U.S. have in maintaining, creating and challenging these structures. They will also gain an understanding of the historic and current relationship between the U.S. and Nicaragua, as well as a chance to improve their Spanish language skills!
Who is Hijos del Maiz?
Hijos del Maiz website: http://www.hijosdelmaiz.net/eng/vision.html
How can our youth group organize a trip to Nicaragua?
We can tailor this program specifically for your youth group; if your youth group is interested in organizing a journey with us to Nicaragua, please contact Chris Casuccio, firstname.lastname@example.org. Youth Service Journeys will be available beginning in fall 2017 and are approximately one week long, from Saturday to Sunday.
How much does this journey cost?
Cost: Depending on the itinerary, program will cost about $750-$850 per person, not including airfare.
Financial aid is available for up to 75% of program costs based on need and is awarded on a first come, first serve basis. Please fill out the financial aid request section of the program application.
For additional fundraising we recommend that participants use Faithify, the Unitarian Universalist crowd funding website, which can help individuals raise money to cover their costs.
Resources for learning more about Nicaragua:
This 1983 movie does a good job of illustrating the impact of the 1979 Nicaraguan revolution on the country’s society and culture.
Harvest of Empire
A full-length film which offers an invaluable glance at the history and impact of US imperialism in Latin America.
The Country Under My Skin
This memoir by Nicaraguan writer Gioconda Belli traces her political awakening from the time of the Nicaraguan revolution to her move to the United States.