September brings one of our favorite festivities, and that is the celebration of the días patrios (patriotic days)! On the 14th and 15th of September, Nicaragua celebrates the battle of San Jacinto and its independence from Spain. September has always carried a sense of pride in not only Nicaragua, but countries like Costa Rica, Honduras, El Salvador, Mexico, and Chile where independence days are also celebrated. Without doubt, September is THE month to enjoy all the incredible little things that make Nicaragua the place it is; from the tasty food to the thrilling sites it has to offer.
It comes as no surprise that September often brings exciting adventures for our exchange students. This year, our exchange squad flew to the Caribbean and enjoyed the long weekend the best way – chilling by one of the most beautiful and serene places in Nicaragua.
Check out their adventures on Little Corn Island!
Many thank to Ella Napata! She is the master mind behind these videos that have managed to give us a peek of some of the colorful and never ending adventures of our students.
What is like coming to Nicaragua as an international student?
The start of a new semester always brings our favorite time; the arrival of our new group of exchange students. This semester we have a lovely group of 7 adventurous girls ready to take everything Nicaragua has to offer! As per usual, we start our semester with orientation and adventures in Managua, hoping to make the transition from our students as smooth as possible.
Day one of orientation was an all-information session at UAM. This included not only what they should know and expect about their classes, but also about Nicaragua in general. Homestays, cultural quirks, cultural adjustment, safety, and places to visit are a few topics we always discuss.
Day two was all about history; a country as rich in history as Nicaragua definitely needs a history introduction to understand current affairs and culture. We invited Marcel Jaenstchke, Nicaraguan writer, to give an introduction into Nicaraguan history which included the colonization, revolution and current events. Afterwards, we headed to old Managua; from the years of Somoza to the destruction of the city in 1972, Managua holds a crazy amount of our history and it’s a must to visit it.
Orientation at UAM College welcomes back its students with a half day of activities, followed by a traditional lunch of Caballo Bayo. This day is the perfect opportunity to meet fellow students and the faculty that will accompany our students for the next 4 months.
This semester we had two awesome trips with our ISEP and LNU exchange students and UAM students.
To celebrate Earth Week in April, UAM College organized a weekend filled with adventures and talks about the environment in Macizo de Peñas Blancas, Bosawas. For one weekend, we stayed at the Centro de Entendimiento con la Naturalez (CEN), learning about their work and hiking in the area. CEN is a research and workshop center in Peñas Blancas, working alongside local communities in subjects such as preservation of the environment, water conservation, leadership in rural organizations and indigenous communities, and reforesting the area.
Cañon de Somoto
For the last overnight trip, we decided to head to Cañón de Somoto for a weekend adventure. Somoto is in the department of Madriz, very close to the Honduran border, and is home to the best rosquillas in Nicaragua.
The canyon is about 20 minutes from the town and excursions usually consist of swimming and walking through the entire canyon, canoeing and rappelling down a cliff.
For the last four years, Universidad Americana has proudly participated in the worldwide event of NASA Space Apps Challenge. This event, also known as hackathon, is an event where problem solvers around the world join in to solve challenges in new and innovative ways. For 48 hours, teams around the world simultaneously work together to solve challenges affecting us at home and fostering innovative ideas for the exploration of outer space. This event seeks to inspire innovation and creativity to solve big problems in unexpected ways; it is an open invitation for anyone who wants to collaborate in positive ways to the technological development of our world.
This year over 16,000 students, experts, engineers, storytellers, makers, and artists participated at more than 160 events on 6 continents. Universidad Americana hosted the event the days of Abril 23rd and 24th in the central auditorium, where we received over 100 participants and 15 teams. The winner for first place was the team Microgravity Fit who worked on the challenge Astrocize; the second place went to the team Apps Hub working on the challenge Air Check. Both teams went on to participate internationally. Last, but certainly not least, the people choice award went to Team Galactica who worked on the challenge Book it to the Moon.
The event produced 1,287 projects around the world and we are proud to say that Team Galactica went on to be among the Top 10 People’s Choice Award Worldwide! Congratulations to our winner and all participants for their out-of-this-world work!
For the third consecutive year, Ohio University (OU) and Universidad Americana (UAM) partnered to implement the Global Consultancy Program (GCP) in Managua for two weeks in December and January. The GCP has operated worldwide in 12 countries for more than 15 years. This year 21 OU students and 20 UAM worked as consultants to eight Nicaraguan companies and one organization.
The organization that participated this year was Fundación Adán (from “Adoption Animal Nicaragua”), a nongovernmental organization. Fundación Adán was founded in 2009 with the purpose of protecting and promoting animal rights, focusing on rehabilitating and finding homes for stray dogs and cats abandoned in the streets of Managua. By demanding compliance with Law 747, the animal rights and protection law, Fundación Adán aims to create awareness about violence towards animals, including abandonment. Additionally, the foundation rehabilitates abused and abandoned cats and dogs before placing them in adoption.
For two weeks, three OU students and two UAM students worked together with Fundación Adán to provide strategies and solutions to attract more donations, volunteers, and to advance their campaign of raising awareness about the mistreatment of animals. During their investigation, the students visited the foundation’ largest foster home, which houses 23 dogs; some of them ready to be adopted, while other still in the process of being rehabilitated after having been rescued from an abusive past.
If you would like to know about Fundación Adan, please visit their Facebook page: Fundación Adan.