Nicaragua & Cuba: Arts & Social Change

Delve into Nicaragua and Cuba and examine how people in both countries have used art to promote social change.

offered by The Experiment in International Living

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From your base in Nicaragua, experience daily life and culture from different perspectives. Live with a campesino host family in El Lagartillo, a rural community in León, located within the northern mountains of Nicaragua’s central region. There you will receive 20 hours of formal Spanish language training; visit an artisan pottery studio; participate in daily activities of the cooperative community, including commercial activities such as producing honey, sesame oil, and fruit jelly; and you’ll also do a service project. Then, travel to San Juan del Oriente to visit a coffee cooperative to explore the lush vegetation of this cloud-covered area and hike a volcano. You will also discover how Nicaraguans use the arts for economic sustainability and to express their aspirations for the future. Participate in workshops and visit local artists’ studios and communities as you learn about art, poetry, music, and dance as means for social change.
You will have a second homestay in Managua, where you will live in the neighborhood of Máximo Jerez, a community deeply involved in the Sandinista revolution, and observe the 
differences between rural and city life in Nicaragua. Visit local markets and participate in spoken-word poetry workshops with writers inspired by the revolution. Learn how to prepare traditional dishes incorporating exotic fruits from Nicaragua.
Your journey continues as you travel to Cuba. Learn about Cuba’s significance in Latin American history and its many connections to Nicaragua, including a comparison of the Sandinista revolution in Nicaragua and the Cuban revolution. Spend a week in the city of Havana exploring the arts in a different social and cultural context. Visit associations of young artists and African-Cuban arts centers. Participate in a community workshop transformation project, Talleres de Transformación, and talk to Cubans about their aspirations. Visit Old Havana and learn about Ernest Hemingway’s life in Cuba at his home in Cojímar before returning to Nicaragua for final reflections. 
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