In the last Contact newsletter, IAPCHE reported that program manager Laura Van Engen would be moving to Nicaragua. Below is a brief update about why Laura moved to Nicaragua, what she is doing, and how you can follow her.
Laura arrived in Nicaragua in the beginning of January and plans to stay until November. Her goal in Nicaragua is to prepare for graduate school (to begin August 2019) by improving her Spanish language skills and by getting exposure and experience in community development work in Latin America. She plans to pursue an advanced degree in Anthropology, Community Development, or Peace Studies. She hopes that interviewing practitioners and beneficiaries and participating in community events will help her select a meaningful path of study and practice.
Laura will be living on the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua, in Bluefields, an historically isolated, ethnically diverse, and under-resourced city. Bluefields is the capital of the South Caribbean Autonomous Region (RACS) and hosts two universities: University of the Autonomous Regions of the Nicaraguan Caribbean Coast (URACCAN) and the Bluefields Indian and Caribbean University (BICU). Laura has already visited BICU and will be assisting with their English program; she plans to visit URUCCAN soon to learn about their community development and intercultural communications programs.
Prior to her travels to Bluefields, Laura had the unique opportunity to visit an IAPCHE member institution, the Universidad Politécnica de Nicaragua (UPOLI) in Managua. IAPCHE will be reporting about this inspiring visit in the March 2018 monthly update.
Laura has expressed gratitude to those IAPCHE members who have reached out to her or inquired about how she is doing. She can be reached at the email address: firstname.lastname@example.org and hopes to maintain a blog about her experiences at: www.lauravanengen.blogspot.com.