Home Institution

Vassar College

Publication Date

Fall 2013

Program Name

Nicaragua: Youth Culture, Literacy, and Media


Paiwas is a municipality located at the intersection of the Región Autónomo de Atlántico del Sur (RAAS),1 the Región Autónomo de Atlántico del Norte (RAAN),2 and the Pacific National half of Nicaragua. The autonomous regions are part of Nicaragua, but have their own regional government, control over their natural resources, and are dedicated to preserving indigenous culture, language, and traditions. Just as it is physically, Paiwas is an intersection between the regional autonomous government and the various levels of government on the Pacific side of the country: all governing entities in some way play a role in the development and administration of the region.

I developed my objectives for this project after speaking to many people in the community. I began to understand what aspects of Paiwas the people in the community thought were important to look at. My objectives for this project were to investigate the impact and role of the implementation and regulation of autonomy; attention from and tensions regarding departments; and attention from and conflicts relating to the municipal government.

Over the past 30 years, political conflicts, disorganization, and the allotment of responsibility to many different governmental entities has caused tension within Paiwas. The tensions manifest themselves in many different ways, but primarily as uneven development, conflict between communities within the municipality, and change in culture.


Politics and Social Change | Public Affairs, Public Policy and Public Administration | Rural Sociology | Social and Cultural Anthropology


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