Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Back to Nicaragua

Coffee handling at
photo from 2006
In 2006, I was the official faculty leader of a study tour for the first time, though I had helped to lead similar ventures in the past. That first trip was a "shake-down cruise" in many respects, as nobody was really doing tourism in the coffee-growing areas of Nicaragua yet. The only tour operators we could find in 2006 and again in 2007 were Managua-based companies with no experience in -- or respect for -- rural communities. We learned quite a lot, and after a 2008 hiatus we found that an excellent, Matagalpa-based operator was now available. Additionally, we found excellent reasons to take the tour to some other areas of the country, notably to courrent social-development projects in León and both current and historic projects in and around El Cuá.

Prior to the first trip, I planned to go only once, and then try the same topic in a different country. But I fell in love with Nicaragua -- as did many students -- and as I write this, we are nearing departure for the sixth Geography of Coffee study tour, happily working with Matagalpa Tours for the fourth year in a row. To the extent we have internet access (and this increases each year), I will be posting a few observations from the field on this blog. For now, the 2012 study tour web page includes our basic itinerary and some additional background.

Best of all, my fellow blogger and favorite librarian -- who accompanied me on the first trip -- now gets to enjoy a journey that promises to be even more pleasant and rewarding.

1 comment:

  1. Thoughts and prayers for as safe productive journey. Thanks for doing an ongoing blog. I might bring the blog up on the projector during class.


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