Bear Roots

During our recent trip to Nicaragua we had the opportunity to visit friends who are working to develop the Casa Grande Community Center in La Laguna in the state of Matagalpa.

La Laguna is a small community of indigenous Mataglapan people nestled into the lush mountains of north central Nicaragua.  This community has seen tremendous change from the years of the Somoza dictatorship in which their land was given to wealthy foreigners in order to develop the coffee industry.  During these times the people suffered immensely as their land and labor was exploited.  The Casa Grande, which is literally a very big house, was built by an Italian landowner in La Laguna during this era and it is a reminder of the vast inequality that was present.  It is mansion of a house with 10+ rooms in the middle of a community where most homes are a single room.

After…

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