Land and Food: Sustainable Agriculture in Nicaragua

Trip Overview:

Since 1989, the Gettysburg community has committed to being a sister city to León, Nicaragua. Through the siter-city relationship, hundreds of Gettysburg College students have worked alongside the people of León and surrounding communities to learn about third-world realities and participate in community development through PGL-sponsored projects.

This trip focuses on the many sustainable agriculture projects which PGL sponsors in and around León. Land use concerns in Nicaragua range from deforestation, large commercial agriculture, lack of land ownership by small farmers, and health concerns from pesticide use. These factors make decisions about land use in Nicaragua both an environmental and a human rights concern.

Participants live with Spanish-speaking host families in the communities of León and Talolinga. A command of the language is not necessary, but some knowledge is helpful.

A passport is required and various immunizations are recommended; these costs are the responsibility of the participant, and are not included in the fee listed above.

 

About Project Gettysburg-León
PGL currently works with five active projects in and around León, mainly within the municipality of León and in a small rural village called Talolinga. These projects include: Taller Artistico Xuchialt (Children's Art School), Talolinga Agricultural Extensionist Project, Monte Horet preschool, Solar Ovens project, and Las Tias afterschool program for at-risk youth.

About Matagalpa
Matagalpha is a rural community high in the northern mountains. Participants have the opportunity to learn about fair trade vs. free trade in the context of coffee production, distribution, the plight of landless workers, and cooperatives, all while living in very rural conditions.

Sample Itinerary:

Day 1: Travel from Gettysburg to Nicaragua; Visit Masaya Volcano; Travel to Leon; Meet host families

Day 2: Tour Leon: Cathedral and museums; Painting and dance workshop with Taller Artistico Xuchialt

Day 3: Travel to Matagalpa; Tour Selva Negra Eco Farm and local coffee estates

Day 4: Travel to Talolinga; Tour of farms and homes in Talolinga; Meet Talolinga host families

Day 5: Work day on family gardens in Talolinga; Dance class with Taller Xuchialt; Cultural event in Talolinga with Taller Xuchialt

Day 6: Travel to Leon; Free day with host families

Day 7: Poneloya Beach; Tour National Park Isla Juan Venado (mangrove forest)

Day 8: Visit to weaving cooperative; Climb Cerro Negro Volcano; Farewell party with host families

Day 9: Travel to Granada; Tour Center Park; Boat tour on Lake Nicaragua though Islands of Granada

Day 10: Tour Volcano El Mambacho; Visit Masaya demo farm; Masaya Market shopping

Day 11: Visit sites in Managua; Travel from Leon to Gettysburg