Instructor Perspective: “The Crisis in Nicaragua”

This blog post was written by CGEE Instructor and Program Coordinator in Central America (Nicaragua), Elisa Vanegas. View the course and enroll today online at our Global Gateway!

The Crisis in Nicaragua: U.S. Destabilization or a Democratic Movement? (History 195C)

When I was offered the opportunity to teach an online course on the Nicaraguan crisis, I felt a kick in my stomach. As a Nicaraguan experiencing the turn of events, I felt it would be very difficult, maybe even impossible, to remain unbiased.  However, before I knew it, a YES slipped through the corners of my lips. All the while, beginning to feel uncertain, like the future of my country, on how I would even design this course.  Continue reading “Instructor Perspective: “The Crisis in Nicaragua””

Diversifying Study Abroad Presentation

On February 5, 2019, Augsburg student and CGEE Central America alumni Arianna Antone-Ramirez, gave a wonderful presentation titled, “Diversifying Study Abroad” as her Gilman Project.

Arianna was a winner of the Gilman Scholarship Award, a prestigious national scholarship for study abroad. From the Gilman website: “The Gilman Scholarship Program broadens the student population that studies and interns abroad by supporting undergraduates who might not otherwise participate due to financial constraints.  The program aims to encourage students to study and intern in a diverse array of countries or areas and world regions.” Continue reading “Diversifying Study Abroad Presentation”

CGEE Guest Speaker on Central America

Join CGEE in welcoming our newest instructor, Fernanda Soto Joya, PhD, to the Augsburg campus during International Education Week 2018! Fernanda will be discussing the current political situation in Guatemala & Nicaragua – two of Augsburg’s global study center locations.

The presentation “Social Change and Politics in Nicaragua and Guatemala” is an excellent opportunity for the Augsburg community to be updated on the current events in locations where Augsburg has a global presence, as well as meet CGEE’s newest instructor! Please join us from 3:30 – 4:30 pm in the East Commons on Thursday, November 15th, and enjoy Central American coffee and thoughtful discussion. There will be time for socializing before and after the presentation. Continue reading “CGEE Guest Speaker on Central America”

Update from Guatemala

The El Fuego Volcano in Guatemala erupted this past weekend causing 70+ fatalities and missing persons, damage to towns near the volcano, and the closing of highways and the international airport (now reopened) in Guatemala City.  See recent updates as of June 6.

CGEE programs and staff were not impacted by the eruption. There were no programs running at the time, and our program base is in Quetzaltenago (Xela) which is located over 100 miles from El Fuego.

INGUAT (The Guatemalan Institute of Tourism) made the following statement: “All of the major tourist destinations – such as Tikal National Park, the Semuc Champey Natural Monument, Lake Atitlan, Quetzaltenango,and the Pacaya Volcano, among others – are fully operational and are not under any restrictions….”

Augsburg University’s Center for Global Education & Experience stands in solidarity with those impacted by this tragedy. PBS has compiled a short list of organizations taking donations for the aid of the local people affected.

 

April 2018 Update: Nicaragua

April 2018 Update: Nicaragua

Despite emerging indications that the government of Nicaragua may work out a peaceful resolution to the civil unrest affecting the country, we have decided to err on the side of caution and end our semester program early. Students have returned to the United States.  We are working with our faculty to develop a plan that will allow students to finish the remaining three weeks of classes from the Nicaragua segment of the program through virtual means.

For organizations with planned custom short-term May programs to Nicaragua, we are discussing possibilities for each on a case by case basis.

While it is entirely possible that the situation in Nicaragua will improve later this week or next, making the decision to end the program early seem unnecessary, student safety—our top priority—requires us to favor current information over speculation.

For questions please contact globaled@augsburg.edu

Update (Evening of Sunday April 22)

President Ortega has held a press conference announcing the revocation of the social security increase that triggered the street protests, and has invited the business sector and the church to a dialogue. We are not clear if this will be enough to unwind the protests in the coming days, but we are optimistic that the dialogue will bear fruit within a few weeks, restoring calm over the summer.

Update (Morning of Tuesday April 24)

Semester students all confirmed at their gates at the airport, awaiting flights home. Mark Lester, Site Director for CGEE Central America, is with them until all have safely left the country.

CGEE staff and their families remain safe and accounted for.

Now Hiring: Instructor and Project Coordinator

Augsburg University invites applications for the position of Instructor and Project Coordinator for its program in Nicaragua with a proposed start date in May 2018. This position combines teaching and providing support to students from various universities in the US, with field work overseeing rural projects in an alliance with the Winds of Peace Foundation (WPF), based in Managua, Nicaragua.

The Instructor responsibilities involve working with the Director and Central America team to maintain and expand quality programming for Augsburg University, principally by teaching in its Social Change and Community Engagement Semester program and the Xavier University semester program in Nicaragua.

The Project Coordinator responsibilities involve working with a WPF team doing grassroots research and action in support of territorial development. The specific focus will be to provide oversight and follow-up on projects involving indigenous peoples and rural women in Nicaragua.

The combination of the two responsibilities is to promote the internationalization of Augsburg University, and other US universities, by facilitating mutual learning with rural communities in Nicaragua, and then jointly working on the issues that affect them. Current efforts the Nicaragua team is working on include a relationship with the Mathematics Department to calculate impact on the forest of a coffee cooperative on carbon capturing; WPF financing to allow six Augsburg faculty to explore connection between their teaching and rural communities in Nicaragua; and building a video library of local resource people in Nicaragua on topics of interest to the US classroom.

The Instructor and Project Coordinator must be able to work effectively with other members of the Central America team, the WPF team, as well as the different offices of Augsburg University to meet the financial and strategic goals of Augsburg University.  She/He must be an excellent collaborator, both in the classroom and with the rural populations.

 

Required Skills

A Master’s degree in a related field and fluent in both English and Spanish, experience in Spanish-English/English-Spanish translation and interpretation.

Desirable: Doctorate in relevant field. Experience in project identification and management, ability to analyze basic financial information, including income and expense and balance statements. Experience in relating to peasants and understanding of gender dynamics in rural Nicaragua.

Required Experience

Candidates should also provide evidence of intercultural competence and effective leadership in international and diverse settings. Excellent communication and organizational skills are essential. Experience teaching on the university level is also preferred.

Augsburg University Set in a vibrant, diverse urban neighborhood and centered on student success, Augsburg is deeply committed to civic engagement, experiential learning, undergraduate research, and global education.  The University embraces a distinctive vision of global learning rooted in cross-cultural understanding, social justice, environmental stewardship, and critical thinking.

How to apply Send a cover letter and resume in pdf format to lester@augsburg.edu Deadline for receiving applications is March 15, 2018.

Kathy Memories!

Calling all alumni of CGEE Central America semester programs and Nicaragua short term programs!

Kathy McBride is officially retiring after 30 years of dedicated service to the Center for Global Education and Experience. Yes – you read that  right – 30 years.

We want to send her off into retirement with fantastic memories of the students she has taught over the decades. We are looking for alumni to submit short videos or writings about their memories of Kathy.

How can you add your memories? Please use this survey link to add your memories. You can upload photos and videos at this link as well!

What do we want?

  • old photos of Kathy from previous programs
  • your written memories of Kathy
  • your written appreciation and/or goodbyes for Kathy
  • a video blog of your memories and/or goodbyes

 

Please do this by Friday, October 20th. 

Now Hiring: International Resident Assistants

Augsburg CGEE currently has two job openings for International Resident Assistants (IRA’s).

What do IRA’s do?

The International Resident Assistant promotes a healthy living/learning environment for semester students and participants in short-term educational seminars and assist in the operation of all educational programs. Proficiency in both English and Spanish is a must for both! These positions are suited well for recently graduated undergrads. See full job descriptions and apply at:

MEXICO IRA POSITION: Application deadline is November 1st.

CENTRAL AMERICA IRA POSITION: Application deadline is October 17th.

 

 

Student Profile: Caleb

Caleb completed two of CGEE’s semester programs in a year, Central America and Southern Africa! Here is his profile with reflections on what he learned during his year abroad:

Student headshot photoName: Caleb Encarnacion-Rivera

School: Clark University

CGEE Programs:

Social Change in Central America: Exploring Peace, Justice, and Community Engagement (Spring 2016)

Nation Building, Globalization and Decolonizing the Mind (Fall 2016)

Major: International Development

Most valuable experience: There are so many things I found valuable during my time abroad with CGEE.  In Central America, the most valuable experience was being able to live in homestays.  Homestays allowed me to build and cultivate long lasting relationships I will cherish for the rest of my life.  Living in homestays enabled me to gain a deeper understanding of the regions I was living in through the lens of local people.  Living in my home stays gave me new family members that I will never forget.  In Namibia, my internship was definitely the highlight of my experience.  I absolutely loved every moment of being able to serve in the city I was living in as well, as learn and grown from directly working with Namibian youth.  My internship gave me the ability to not only learn or study in a foreign country, but gain work experience, and establish new networks beyond that of the United States.

Why encourage others to study abroad with CGEE: Both programs are life changing in numerous ways.  I will cherish these moments for the rest of my life.  If you are looking for an authentic study abroad experience these are the programs for you!