Community Based Projects

The service side of the service-learning program focuses on projects of Jubilee House Community - Center for Development in Central America (JHC-CDCA). Bucknell groups have been working with the JHC-CDCA since 1999 and they are the host for both the Bucknell Brigades and the Bucknell in Nicaragua program. Because they've been working in close collaboration with the community in Nicaragua for more than 20 years, we are able to get involved in ongoing projects right away. Typically, we do some construction work (e.g. on a new clinic building) and also work in the Nueva Vida clinic, helping in the pharmacy, assisting with clerical tasks, and shadowing a doctor.


Program Excursions: We visit several agricultural sites reflecting different livelihood systems for farmers (including small-to-large scale, both individual and cooperative systems, organic and fair trade production), as well as other locally based enterprises (e.g. women's sewing cooperative and a free trade zone), and sites of political, historical, cultural, environmental, and general interest.

Included may be:

  • Managua — tour highlighting history, social change, and politics as well as architecture
  • Managua — everyday market compared to supermarket
  • Hospital & Health Clinic visits
  • Cities of Granada & Leon — both former capitals
  • El Porvenir — mountain coffee production cooperative
  • Rancho Ebenezer — sustainable farm to south
  • Jose Padilla — sustainable farm to north
  • Selva Negra — hiking the ecotourist cloud forest and large scale coffee production
  • Laguna de Apoyo — swimming in a volcanic crater lake
  • Ciudad Sandino
  • Potter and other artisans
  • Masaya Volcano
  • And more...

Study Time/Lectures/Reflections

Study time will be built into the schedule to ensure sufficient time to reflect, read, and write brief responses to questions structured to aid in thinking about the issues.

The course will include lectures and discussions led by the instructors, Jubilee House Community members, presentations by local experts and practitioners on a range of topics from different points of view, along with the outings and service-learning work.

In addition to regular class discussions, we'll have reflection sessions. One of the lessons of the Bucknell in Nicaragua experience is that it is important to share feelings and views to help us process what we are seeing. New experiences in very different surroundings can be overwhelming, especially if not shared. Every few days there will be an opportunity to reflect upon impressions, views, understandings, and feelings.