Plans for Winter Break 2014:

Itinerary: Trip participants will travel to Managua, Nicaragua on January 05, 2014 and return to New York on January 12, 2014. Early in the week they will partner with La Isla Foundation, a non-governmental organization based in Leon, Nicaragua that works to advance the rights of workers in the region’s sugarcane industry. Students will also work with local attorneys and community organizers. The group will visit Chichigalpa at least once, a community that is the focus of many of La Isla’s efforts due to its remarkably high incidence of CKDu.

Winter Break 2013:

Over winter break 2013, UJ sent a team of students to Leon, Nicaragua to work with La Isla Foundation in their efforts to inform workers in the region’s sugarcane industry of their rights and to provide them with information regarding access to justice. Students met informally with community members by going door-to-door spreading information regarding the availability of free local legal screenings and representation at no cost. The team also collectively prepared and presented a report based on their observations to La Isla’s founder and its legal director.

Results of Last Year’s Project

The students on the Nicaragua trip focused on worker’s rights, placing their attentions on the poor rural community of Chichigalpa, where generations of workers in the region’s sugarcane industry have developed Chronic Kidney Disease of unknown origin at such an alarming frequency that it is locally known as “La Isla de Las Viudas,” or, the Island of Widows.

The UJ Nicaragua students are continuing their work with the community by sending a Fordham student to the region to do a summer internship, as well as planning continuing involvement for the next school year. The team plans to foster its ties to La Isla Foundation for the purposes of continued involvement in the advancement of sugarcane worker’s rights and access to justice. UJ Nicaragua participants collectively prepared and presented a report of observations made in the field to La Isla’s founder and its legal director. This report was assembled for the purposes of documenting the team’s efforts and recommendations and was prepared for the benefit of La Isla’s legal team and off-site personnel as well as future volunteers. The team hopes that the products of their hard work are able to help La Isla Foundation’s legal team and others working on these issues to have a stronger impact on the local communities.

Reports and Past Itineraries:

2012 Nicaragua Report

2009-2010 Nicaragua Report

2009-2010 Nicaragua Itinerary

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