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The 2012 TCNJ Delegation to Nicaragua: Assessing International Service Learning

Faculty Mentor: Diane Bates

Students: Brad Heisler & Nicole Thompson

Throughout the summer Dr. Diane Bates lead Brad Heisler and Nicole Thompson during research of the Nicaraguan people, culture, history and the U.S’s involvement there. Nicaragua lies between the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. With a population of 5,727,707 people it is the second poorest country in the western Hemisphere and the first poorest in Latin America. With the collaboration of social science and filmmaking we have been able to not only gather and analyze this data but capture it as well through the experience of seventeen TCNJ students abroad. These students, traveled to Nicaragua, stayed in homestays, and tackled the issues of homelessness, substandard education, poverty, and abandonment by doing community service for three weeks. Their experience was analyzed through pre-interviews and post surveys. With this film we hope to educate people on Nicaragua, the issues that affect it, and evaluate the Bonner’s program, which hosted this community service experience.