Dear Friends of URACCAN

Welcome to Issue No. 1 of URACCAN UPDATE, a modest email newsletter about URACCAN acvities that we hope to send out once or twice a month.

We obtained your email address either directly from you or from a mutual friend who suggested to us that you would be interested in having contact with URACCAN. If it is not convenient to you to remain on the URACCAN UPDATE mailing list, just let us know and we will omit your address from the list.

Please take note of our email address:

Our address for regular mail is: URACCAN, Edificio El Carmen, Del Canal 4, media cuadra al Sur, Managua, Nicaragua. Tele: 505-268-2143 505-268-2144. And the fax number is: 505-268-2145.

Best regards
Felipe Stuart
URACCAN Outreach




Make Up Courses January

Special Exams January

Fifth Encuentro of PRUEDIS II(*) January

(*) Degree Program in Distance Education

Registration February

Beginning of Academic Courses March 3

Sabatinos Saturday Courses)Begin March 8

Diagnostic Testing March 10-14

Holy Week (Semana Santa) March 24-28

General Exams-Round One April 14-25

Sabatino Exams - Round One April 26-May 3

General Exams-Round Two June 2-13

Sabatino Exams - Round Two June 7-14

Last day of Classes/First Term June 27

Last day of Sabatinos June 28

Term Final Exams June 30-July 11

Sabatinos Final Exams July 5-12

Sixth Encuentro of PRUEDIS II July


Registration for Second Term August 1 - 8

Summer Courses August 4 - 8

Beginning of Second Term August 11

Special First Term Exams August 11-15

Beginning of II Term Sabatinos August 16

General Exams - Round One September 22-October 3

Sabatino Exams - Round One September 27-October 4

General Exams - Round 2 November 17-28

Sabatino Exams - Round 2 November 15 & 22

Last Day of Classes/Second Term December 5

Last Sabatino/Second Term December 6

Final Exams December 9-19

Final Sabatino Exams December 13 & 20

Pre-Registration for 1998 Courses October 1997

Summer Courses January 1998

Special Exams January 1998


Last November the URACCAN Association met to review the work of the university and to elect officers and rectors. The elections produced changes in vice-rectors on both the Bilwi and Bluefields campuses.

The new Vice-Rector of the Bilwi campus is Albert St-Clair. St-Clair was formerly head of the Bilwi branch of FADCANIC, one of the major development agencies on the Nicaraguan Caribbean Coast.

Migel Gonzalez was elected Vice-Rector of the Bluefields campus. Gonzalez was part of the teaching staff of URACCAN and had widespread support of teachers and students in his nomination.

Jose Manuel Marin continues as Vice-Rector of the Siuna campus.


Francisco Campbell, URACCAN's former General Secretary, was elected to the Central American Parliament in the October 20 Nicaraguan national elections, representing the FSLN. His new responsibilities required him to withdraw from the full-time administrative staff of URACCAN. However, Campbell will continue to represent URACCAN in various capacities, especially in its international and Central Am

erican regional outreach work. His presence in the Central American Parliament will be of particular importance to the Autonomous Regions of the Caribbean Coast and to URACCAN.

He will be a guest speaker and Nicaraguan participant at the "Nicaragua Solidarity: where do we go from here" conference to be held February 15-16 in Washington, DC.


Last November the Canadian International Development Fund approved a five year institutional development project that will link URACCAN with Canada's York University (Toronto). The "York-URACCAN Linkages Project - Human Resources for Sustainable Development in Nicaragua's Caribbean Coast" will run from 1997 to 2002 and will be carried out under the sponsorship of the Association of University Co

lleges of Canada (AUCC). The Project is designed to strengthen URACCAN's capacity to develop the human resources of the Caribbean Coast of Nicaragua in order to meet the region's needs in the area's of poverty alleviation, sustainable development, and community development.

Five overall objectives will strengthen URACCAN in the following areas:

  1. Faculty Development: To strengthen URACCAN's faculty resources and foster the sustainability of its teaching capacity by furthering the formal academic training of its faculty.
  2. Program/Curriculum Development: To facilitate a program development at URACCAN and at York University that is oriented and responsive to community needs by developing new courses and improving teaching methods at URACCAN.
  3. Community-Outreach Education and Leadership Development: To strengthen outreach education in Nicaragua's Caribbean Coast and in Canada, and to enhance URACCAN's leadership education programs to foster community development.
  4. Research Capacity Development: To enhance URACCAN's capacity to develop an active research agenda that meets the needs of Nicaragua's Caribbean Coast.
  5. Information and Communications Development: To enhance URACCAN's programs and their sustainability through increased information and communications capacity.

Some highlights of the project are:

News of CIDA's award to URACCAN-York was first announced in November on the eve of the annual conference of the Canadian Association for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CALACS), hosted by York's Center for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean (CERLAC). URACCAN's Rector Dr. Mirna Cunningham was a featured speaker at that conference. During her visit she met with York President Dr. Susan Mann, with CERLAC leaders, and other York staff involved in the project.

York's collaboration with URACCAN will be directly facilitated by CERLAC. Project Director is Dr. Harry Smaller, Assistant Professor with York's Faculty of Education.

In December URACCAN hosted a three-member mission from York that came to firm up final details of the project. Mission members were: Dr. Harry Smaller, Dr. Patrick Taylor, CERLAC Deputy Director, and Dr. Eduardo Canel, Coordinator of York's Latin American and Caribbean Studies Program. They traveled to our three campuses in Siuna, Bilwi, and Bluefields and met with URACCAN staff, students, and c

ommunity leaders. To conclude the visit, a public press conference was held in Managua to announce the York Project, along with other CIDA-funded projects at URACCAN. It was attended by Canadian Consul Marc Gagnon and S. Felipe Rios of the Canadian Cooperation Office in Nicaragua. Dr. Canel spoke to the press about the goals of the York-Uraccan project and Dr. Cunningham gave an overview of CID

A-funded projects at URACCAN.

In late January Ray Hooker, in charge of the Master's Degree component of the project, visited York University to represent York in meetings with the AUCC to finalize details of the project.


A three-day seminar on "Indigenous Universities and Related Programs" is being planned for this coming April in San Jose, Costa Rica.

Called under the auspices of the Saskatchewan Indian Federated College (SIFC - Regina, Canada), it is being organized through an executive committee comprised of: the SIFC, URACCAN, and the Universidad para La Paz, Programa Internacional de Estudios Indigenas (UPAZ).

The seminar will attempt to attain the following objectives:

The projected seminar dates are: April 17-18-19.

The seminar organizer is Susana Rochna-Ramirez, representing the SIFC. If you are interested in obtaining more information about the seminar, you may contact Susana Rochna-Ramirez in San Jose at:

Phones: 506-224-8207 or 249-1072

Fax: 505-224-0687 or 249-1929


This February URACCAN teachers will have the opportunity to study the issue of gender and education in a professional development course offered by Dr. Susan Heald of the University of Manitoba (Winnipeg). Dr. Heald, a specialist in gender studies, arrived in Nicaragua February 9 and will offer a five-day course on each of our three campuses.

The 20-hour course will take up themes such as: What is Gender; Is Education Gender-Neutral? and Gender as an Analytical and Research Category.

Dr. Heald will stay in Nicaragua two months. In addition to her course she will be assisting URACCAN in curriculum review and plans to undertake some of her own research on the Caribbean Coast.


**Training in fishing skills

**Working for Gariphuna Cultural Survival

[The following article by Kenny Lisby is taken from the January 1997 issue of the Caribbean Coast magazine AUTONOMIA]

There is a very important project going on the Pearl Lagoon Basin, with the purpose to benefit the people that live in this area, with training for the fishermen and the promotion of a program for the Gariphuna Cultural Survival.

"Seen at the Pearl Lagoon Basin, there is a wide interest, from the cultural point of view and potential of attractive natural resources that this area contains," said Miguel Gonzalez, Vicerector of the URACCAN university in the South Autonomous Atlantic Region, with the support of the non government organization Norway People.

Training of fishermen with the project objective is to build new capacities for the fishermen that are organized in cooperatives in six communities of the Basin, such as Haulover, Pearl lagoon itself, Raitis Pura, Kakabila, Brown Bank and Orinoco.

The development of this project among the cooperatives has meant as far as now a real benefit for 25 fishermen of the Basin. They were trained in such areas as Community Development, the management of cooperatives as business and natural resources conservation.

For the fishermen it was very important to learn more of the Autonomous statutes and different laws that are related to this process, in every seminar.

Miguel Gonzalez explains that in developing this training program there have been many difficulties, such as the lack of enough transportation to cover all the communities that are spread in the basin and located very distant from one another. Thanks to the support for the Program from DANIDA [a Danish NGO] we have been able to visit the communities.

The lack of enough funding for the project is another difficulty for this project, explained Gonzalez, because this situation they cannot acquire all the supplies that is necessary. Increase the educational rate of the fishermen become necessary in order to obtain achievement of this project.

Gariphuna Cultural Survival

The cultural survival that is going on for the Gariphuna communities whit the support of URACCAN is another branch of this program in the basin. As far as now, there are commissions working in Bluefields and Orinoco, the idea is to organize a commission also in la Fe.

The principal activities that are promoting is the research of the history of the Gariphuna communities, their tradition, and culture.

Together with the Education Ministry and the Bilingual Education Program they have perform in churches and schools. The building of a Cultural House in Orinoco that begun already is part of this Cultural Survival Project.

With the support of this project they have developed a very successful exchange and cooperation program with Gariphunas people from Belize and Honduras.

The celebration of the Gariphuna International Day with a Regional Festival, in last November, and many other events are possible because of this project, said Miguel Gonzalez, Vicerector of URACCAN in Bluefields.

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