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Updated: Sept. 3, 2009
By Julia Ferrante
LEWISBURG, Pa. – The Bucknell Brigade in October will mark the 10th anniversary of an effort to build a sustainable way of life for residents of Nueva Vida, a Nicaraguan resettlement community formed after the 1998 devastation of Hurricane Mitch.
A celebration to mark the milestone is planned for Homecoming Weekend, Oct. 23-25.
Leading up to that milestone is a special Bucknell Brigade anniversary webpage that celebrates a decade of the service-learning program's accomplishments with a series of stories and profiles of brigadistas.
In the series:
- Bucknell Brigade: 10 years of building a community
In the decade since the program began, brigadistas have helped to build a clinic, a spinning cooperative and a pipeline to bring running water to a mountaintop village. As much as they give, they get back from the experience.
- 10 years later, Bucknell Brigade's work reaches far and wide
Twenty-three Bucknell alumni, family, friends and community members traveled to Nicaragua with the Brigade March 28-April 4. They were encouraged by the progress but recognized there still is a continuing need.
- Nicaragua 2009 Slideshow
An alumni delegation returned to Nicaragua for the 10th anniversary of the Bucknell Brigade.
- Clinic inspired by Bucknell Brigade serves thousands
The Bucknell Brigade helped build a clinic in Nueva Vida in 2001. About $40,000 in donations from the Bucknell community and beyond pay salaries and operating costs each year.
- Students help bring running water to mountain village
Bucknell engineering students in 2007 received a $10,000 grant from Projects for Peace to build a pump house and water line to serve a hilltop community about four hours from Managua.
- Engineers bring flowing water to Nicaraguan village
Residents of El Porvenir have running water for the first time, thanks to the completion of the three-year engineering project inspired by the Brigade.
- Brigade inspired professor's co-op research
Brigade participants have helped build sustainable businesses to sell organic cotton and coffee for fair-trade prices. Professor Paul Susman, a Brigade faculty leader, was inspired to research the successes and failures of Nicaraguan cooperatives.
- Bucknell Brigade Travel Journal
Senior News Writer Julia Ferrante's daily account of brigade activities and impressions of Nicaragua.
- Nicaraguan artist, student painting memorial mural
Artist Gerardo Hernandez Arias is painting a mural at Bucknell to commemorate the program's 10-year history.
- Bucknell 'Grassroots' class studies Nicaraguan co-ops
Two professors and 17 Bucknell students traveled to Nicaragua this summer to see first hand how Nicaraguans are building sustainable businesses.
The anniversary page features profiles of Brigadistas, focusing on how the experience shaped their lives at Bucknell and beyond.
- Rob Gradoville, Class of '07, signed on to design and build a pipeline to provide running water to a mountaintop village in Nicaragua after graduating from Bucknell.
- Jamie Cistoldi Lee, Class of '99, came up with the idea for the Brigade 10 years ago after studying in Nicaragua.
- Ben Colby, Class of '03, who plans to apply to medical school, says his career goals were influenced by the Brigade.
- Samantha McDonough, an art major who had been painting a commemorative mural with Nicaraguan artist Gerardo Hernandez Arias.
- Jacquelin Kataneksza, Class of '09, was acquainted with poverty as a native of Zimbabwe but inspired by the hope of Nicaraguans.
- Grace Han, with other students, was inspired to work on a documentary about the plight of banana workers in Nicaragua after going on the Brigade.
- Zumra Balihodzic, Class of '09, lived through war in Bosnia but was not prepared for what she experienced in Nicaragua.
- Don Stechschulte, Bucknell's director of student health services has been on every Brigade trip.
- Janelle Nodhturft, Class of ’08, has made a point to learn more about the impoverished communities, even on "vacation."
Contact: Division of Communications