Home Institution

Macalester College

Publication Date

Spring 2014

Program Name

Nicaragua: Youth Culture, Literacy, and Media


In this essay, I analyze the results from 20 interviews I completed in Managua, Matagalpa, and San Ramon, selecting 8 to delve into in depth. I conducted the interviews in pairs, asking parents about their memories of the Nicaraguan Contra war in the 1980s and then asking their children about the histories their parents shared with them and their personal views of Nicaragua. Through these interviews, I sought to understand in a Nicaraguan context the presence of historical memory, the politicization of historical memory, the diversity of youth activism, and the way that youth view reconciliation within their countries. My results reflect first that in the context of my interviews oral histories were in every case passed from parents to children, although in many cases children would understand and internalize these stories in a huge variety of ways regardless of the intended principles that the parents wanted to pass on. The second major finding of my research is that although parents are convinced that the current generation of Nicaraguan youth is more united than their own, their children almost universally argued the opposite. I conclude the paper by arguing that despite the prevailing idea amongst youth in my interviews that another Revolution is coming, I found many instances of hope in their responses; their dissent is but a reflection of that hope.


Family, Life Course, and Society | Inequality and Stratification | Latin American Studies | Peace and Conflict Studies | Place and Environment | Politics and Social Change


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