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* Global Community Engagement in Nicaragua
Managua, Nicaragua; Matagalpa, Nicaragua (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms: Winter Break
Budget Sheets Winter Break
CSU Deadlines / Program Dates:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Winter Break 2018 10/01/2017
Rolling Admission 01/01/2018 01/11/2018

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Students applying to CSU-sponsored programs will be notified of decision within two weeks of application submission. Students applying to non-CSU sponsored programs need to contact their program provider for decision dates.

Indicates that deadline has passed
Fact Sheet:
Recommended Programs: International Studies, Sociology
Grade Point Average:
Language(s) of Instruction:
Program Coordinator:
Sarah Vowels
Program Type: CSU Short Term Program
Areas of Study:
Agricultural Sciences, Business, Engineering, Health and Human Sciences, Interdisciplinary, Liberal Arts, Natural Resources, Natural Sciences, Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences
Program Description:

Global Community Engagement

in Nicaragua

Become immersed in the grassroots work of local Fair Trade activists through this 1-credit winter break faculty-led program that includes site visits, short excursions and conversations with community members focusing on economic, political and social issues.  Program participants engage with community development through visits to Free Trade areas and organizations to understand how Fair Trade fits into the overall economy of Nicaragua.

Program At-a-Glance

WHEN:   Winter Break: January 1-11, 2018
NOTE: Preparatory and follow-up class sessions will be held late Fall and early Spring.

CREDITS:  All committed students will be registered for IE 382A: Community Engagement in Nicaragua (1 CSU credit) through  CSU's Division of Continuing Education. All tuition and program charges will be billed at the start of the spring term.

COST: See Budget Sheet for details. The program fee includes roundtrip international airfare from Denver to Managua, all in country meals, lodging, transportation, community projects, medical insurance, and program administration. 

SCHOLARSHIPS: Applicants for this program are eligible for scholarships through the Office of International Programs.

PROGRAM DIRECTORS: Karen Gardenier, Assistant Director, International Initiatives in the Office of International Programs at Colorado State University, Suzanne Kent, Instructor for International Programs at Colorado State University, and Kate Wormus, Senior Coordinator Community for Excellence Scholar Programs.

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS: Minimum 2.25 GPA. Instructor approval. Good disciplinary standing. Open to all students from all years and majors, as well as undeclared students. Limited to 20 participants.

Program Overview

This nine-day Winter Break faculty-led program examines the realities of Fair Trade in Nicaragua and how it promotes greater equity in global trading practices.  Students register for IE 382A (1 credit) and attend pre- and post-trip sessions on CSU’s campus.  In Nicaragua, students take part in immersion activities with local community members to give overviews of the country’s history, politics and culture.  Students step beyond the boundaries of a traditional classroom through site visits to several of Managua’s Fair Trade organizations, such as the Movement of Working and Unemployed Women.  Other visits include an eco-lodge coffee plantation, Fair Trade market, artisan store and the Free Trade Zone.  While abroad, students produce a photo voice project guided journal and multiple written reflections.  Specific focus will be given to Nicaragua’s economic history with regards to the Agroexport model, Import Substitution, Socialism, and Neoliberalism. Participants will also learn about Nicaragua’s dessert economy with a focus on coffee, rum, cigars, and chocolate. A survival Spanish language course is included in this orientation.

Check out the tentative itinerary and meetings dates here: Nicaragua_Itinerary.pdf


Nicaragua is a country that relies heavily on the production and export of agricultural goods such as coffee, tobacco, and sugar. In response to the country’s economic instability in the face of a global coffee crisis, Fair Trade organizations have blossomed throughout the country to provide equitable employment and wages to thousands of workers. Students will spend the majority of the program in Managua, the capital city of Nicaragua. Additionally, the program price includes excursions to Matagalpa, Volcan Masaya, and Crater Lake Apoyo.

Housing and Meals

Accommodations, meals, and transportation are included in the program price.  For the first two nights in Managua, students will stay in a small guest house.  On the third day, the group will depart on excursion: in Matagalpa, students stay in a small guest house and in Selva Negra, students stay in an eco-lodge that is part of a coffee plantation.  Upon returning to Managua, students will stay with local host families.  Breakfast, lunch and dinner are provided throughout the program.