Country: Nicaragua

Small Loans Fund Big Dreams: From Peace Corps to ACCION

Six weeks after graduating from Harvard’s class of 1999, I joined the Peace Corps and became an Environment Volunteer. I moved to Nicaragua with rudimentary Spanish skills, unquenchable optimism, and no real idea of what I was getting myself into. In 1960, when John F. Kennedy first presented the idea of what would become the Peace Corps, he asked a group of Michigan students how many of them were willing to serve their …

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Misunderstanding Hugo? Reading Chávez from Álvaro Uribe’s Colombia

On January 10, 2007, heads of state from all over the world attended the inauguration of Daniel Ortega as president of Nicaragua. As usual, photographs of the event found their way into the international pages of the world’s press. A particularly striking photo shows Hugo Chávez whispering conspiratorially with fellow presidents Evo Morales of Bolivia and Rafael Correa of Ecuador. Chávez, resplendent in red shirt and black slacks, is …

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Will the United States Ever Leave Nicaragua Alone? The Presidential Election of 2006

Even before the landslide election of evo morales as president of Bolivia at the end of 2005, and with left-leaning parties in power in Venezuela, Chile, Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay, there have been hopes and fears, depending on the observer, of a possible left-wing sweep of Latin America. Given that Nicaragua is the second poorest country in the Americas and has only three million people and negligible resources, few outside …

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Introduction: From Hope to Despair? Latin America’s Year of Elections

Latin American democracy is living through unprecedented times. The list of countries where political leadership is not determined through competitive elections has for many years now been limited to one case: Cuba. Between November 2005 and December 2006, electoral episodes will be cruising the region at full steam. Twelve countries will have featured presidential contests: Mexico, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, …

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