Home Institution

Yale University

Publication Date

Spring 2014

Program Name

Nicaragua: Youth Culture, Literacy, and Media


Various societal factors demonstrate that Pearl Lagoon is in state of emergency. The youth today live in a Pearl Lagoon that is gradually losing cultural ground. However, the young people are not silent witnesses to this decline. The youth desire to learn more about their cultural traditions. Many of them romanticize their community’s past and emphasize the importance of their traditions, even though others are breaking away from their customs. The younger generation also critiques their community. This is hopeful because Pearl Lagoon needs cultural rescue. Technology is increasing the youth’s exposure to the outside world, which is not necessarily negative. However, the weakening Afro-descendant cultural identity leaves the youth vulnerable to these outside images, which can become adopted behaviors. There are many warning signs to Pearl Lagoon’s diminishing cultural expression: the youth’s disinterest in their traditions, increasing substance abuse, decreasing numbers of youth returning after college, growing health problems, and increasing incidents of teen pregnancy. However, it is not too late for cultural rescue. The challenge presented to community leaders is to decide what to do now that Pearl Lagoon has been identified as an emergency state.


Civic and Community Engagement | Community-Based Learning | Community-Based Research | Inequality and Stratification | Place and Environment | Politics and Social Change | Race and Ethnicity | Sociology of Culture


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