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Augsburg's senior administrators visit Nicaragua

nicaraguaPresident Pribbenow, members of the President’s Cabinet, and Regent Steve Sheppard have spent the past week at Augsburg’s Center for Global Education site in Managua, Nicaragua. In his March 24 weekly update, Pribbenow wrote, “The trip is a sign of my (and the Cabinet’s) commitment to CGE’s work around the world as a mission-based focus of Augsburg.”

Chief Information Officer Leif Anderson provided highlights of the group’s activities:

  • Met with a non-profit that works on behalf of the poor living in Managua’s city dump, and then we visited the area just outside the dump.
  • Visited a neighborhood community center in an area where many CGE students do home-stay visits
  • Drove by a tent city where farm workers who were poisoned by agricultural chemicals from American companies are squatting in protest
  • Went to the national cathedral, the former presidential palace, and the Sandinista monument (Sandino looking out over Managua)
  • Visited leading Nicaraguan economist Nestor AvendaƱo at his home. AvendaƱo studied at Yale and returned to Nicaragua, where he has been economic advisor to each president.
  • Received different viewpoints on the free-trade agreements. One from the head of a farmer’s cooperative, who outlined the difficulties in the agreements. The other with ProNicaragua, an agency aimed at attracting foreign investors to locate business in Nicaragua.
  • Attended a concert of the national symphony, playing at the community center in celebration of the center’s 25th year. The orchestra performed with a choir of kids from the neighborhood.

Augsburg has maintained a study site in Nicaragua since 1984. In 2007, the Center for Global Education celebrated its 25th year of providing “cross-cultural educational opportunities in order to foster critical analysis of local and global conditions so that personal and systemic change takes place leading to a more just and sustainable world.”

To see what the Augsburg group is doing in Nicaragua, check out Leif Anderson’s photo journal at: picasaweb.google.com/anderson.leif/32008Nicaragua

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