Actions in the Face of Upheaval: Partnering in Nicaragua Now

June 19, 2018

This email from Gonzalo Duarte to supporters of Compañeros kicks off a blog series on the topic of partnership during times of crisis. For information on how to support Nicaragua now, and to spark your own thinking on what partnership can mean when students are not able to travel, read below. Check back for additional reflections on achieving partnership – from university and NGO administrators, as well as other stakeholders – that will be featured by globalsl in the weeks to come.

Email from Gonzalo Duarte, Companeros:

VIA EMAIL June 10/18

Dear Friends,

Thank you for your expressions of support around the current crisis in Nicaragua. We know past participants share our heartbrokenness over the rapid unravelling of conflicting events in a country we love in all its warm and aspirational dimensions. We know current group leaders and participants are disappointed to see your travel, program and project plans jeapordized. We share your mixed emotions. 

We ask you not to turn away from our partnership nor to seek new international destinations. This is an opportunity to increase your local community engagement, possibly with Indigenous Peoples, while walking the talk with the people we know in Nicaragua. You can exercise your solidarity, service, and learning outcomes in the short and long term.

What can friends of Compañeros do? Here are 5 Things You Can Do With Nicaragua and share with your network:

  1. SENDyour positive thoughts and prayers toward all involved in this crisis (see The Atlantic). For the governmentand its forces to show mercy, justice, and good governance. For the protesters to rally around peaceful and productive political and social outcomes. For collaborative leadership to emerge that represents the best interests of the most number of citizens. For the safety and well-being of our family, staff, partners, and communities you know through your association with Compañeros Nicaragua.
  2. KEEPyourself critically informed of complex issues by using a variety of sources, such as mainstream media, social media, and first-hand accounts. For example: OAS Reportand Confidencial and BBC News and The Guardian and Jim’s Blog and Steve’s BlogCONNECT your knowledge, skills, and values in-person and/or online with Canadian-Nicaraguans in your area working to bring peace and justice to their homeland. For example, two grassroots Facebook groups one could follow are: Nicaraguan Canadian Association and Nicaragua Resiste Canada
  3. FUNDRAISE $for the families of victims of violence and for the care of people unable to access the public health care system at this time. We have received direct requests for support from our community leaders with limited access to food, impacted by infrastructure damage, hoarding, and roadblocks. Accelerate your plans to support our housing and education projects so that we can employ people who have lost work during the crisis. Thanks to the prompt generosity of past participants and supporters across Ontario, Compañeros will be prudently delivering in-country aid this summer and fall. Contact me for ways you can financially support those who are suffering and offset precarious employment.
  4. SAVE THE DATEFRIDAY SEPTEMBER 28 to attend a daytime Nicaragua info-sharing session and an evening fundraising event in Toronto.Past and present participants, group leaders, and representatives from other organizations are warmly encouraged to attend. If you wish to consider joining a fact-finding delegation to Nicaragua in 2018 or 2019, please contact me. 
  5. APPEALto the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minster of Foreign Affairs, and Her Excellency Jennifer Loten, Canada’s Ambassador to the Organization of American Statesto raise more vociferously Canada’s oppositionto the trampling of human rights and democratic institutions in Nicaragua; and, to offer their tangible support to multi-sector stakeholders seeking a peaceful and productive resolution.  

Please circulate these 5 Things You Can Do With Nicaragua as you wish.

Thank you,

Gonzalo Duarte

On behalf of Compañeros Inc Board of Advisors

Mark Franklin, Janet Nield, Barb Engel, Ivette Fonseca

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