Home Institution

Whitman College

Publication Date

Spring 2015

Program Name

Nicaragua: Youth Culture, Literacy, and Media


In rural parts of Nicaragua historically there has not been a lot of access to the justice system. Conflicts have been going unresolved for years leading to a high amount of violence as people take justice into their own hands. The recent implementation of the Rural Judicial Facilitators Program (RJFP) is an effort to provide access to justice directly in rural communities. These facilitators are trained to use mediation as their principal method to resolve conflict.

This study exposes perceptions of mediation and the RJFP from community members, facilitators, and judiciaries. It discusses the key role of the facilitator in bridging the gap between the justice system and the people and uncovers ways in which mediation is both successful and can fall short. Ultimately, this investigation reveals some of the potential causes of why mediation is presently so effective in these communities.


Courts | Dispute Resolution and Arbitration | Jurisdiction | Latin American Studies | Peace and Conflict Studies | Rural Sociology | Social and Cultural Anthropology