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Bates College

Publication Date

Spring 2009

Program Name

Nicaragua: Revolution, Transformation, and Civil Society

Abstract

This study seeks to answer the question: What pedagogies and theoretical and practical concepts and processes effectively facilitate a transition to sustainable agriculture among campesinos/as in rural Nicaragua? From the perspective of both the facilitators and the participants, what makes these methodologies effective and why is this change important? The Cuculmeca, an organization that promotes the sustainable use of the environment and the participation of communities in their own development, has been promoting sustainable agriculture in Jinotega since 1992. The organization has developed a series of pedagogical strategies that tend to facilitate an enduring transition to sustainable agriculture, and in 2008 the Cuculmeca initiated the Promotion of Peasant Agriculture Project in five communities in the Dry Zone of the municipality of Jinotega. The diagnostic phases of the project occurred during the months preceding this study; however, the first instructional session took place in April 2009 at the commencement of this research. This study evaluates the initial phases of this project, and concludes that popular education, or the pedagogical technique used to raise awareness in participants about how their personal experiences are related to broader social issues, is an effective strategy, both for facilitators and participants, for promoting sustainable agriculture in rural Nicaragua. Additionally, it is concluded that not only is sustainable agriculture a means of advancing environmental stewardship, food sovereignty, economic stability and public health initiatives, but is also a form of cultural revitalization and peasant liberation.

Disciplines

Agricultural and Resource Economics

 

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