This page is to present Conexiones students with the “Cuadernito de Mayo,” a short workbook we ask students to engage and complete the readings and exercises before the Orientation Sessions start on June 4. Hard copies will be available at the meeting on May 3. Or you can download the file below and complete the Cuadernito via Word (*.doc format ). and hand it in via e-mail (with scanned or photographed maps). So on this page you will see the cuadernito as well as the downloadable file.

And here is the Cuadernito (Do not attempt to work on it here):

El Cuadernito de Mayo


Conexiones /Nicaragua/2012

The primary tool that Conexiones uses to introduce students to Nicaraguan Culture is the Conexiones Cuaderno. Basically the Cuaderno provides a medium students can use to document the process of learning Nicaraguan culture. The cuaderno is based on ethnographic field methods, the methods anthropologists use to learn a new culture from scratch.
But we do not have to start from scratch. Nicaraguais a nation, and a nation that theUShas recognized again and again as having “strategic importance” to theUS. As a nation,Nicaraguahas been the subject of much study. Anyone can learn about the geography, history, ecology, art, literature, and language(s) ofNicaraguaby locating and examining books, films, websites, etc.
We are aware, however, that few Conexiones students know much aboutNicaragua. We also know that the more our students do know to begin with, the more they will benefit from the program. We have therefore designed the following “Cuadernito de Mayo” and ask students to engage and complete the readings and exercises before the Orientation Sessions start on June 4.
Creating this cuadernito, we understood several things. First, we know that students are resistant to work that professors assign prior to the first day of class. Second, we know that students have agendas and priorities during the month of May that limit the time they can spend on academic preparation for the Conexiones program. Finally, we know that we cannot expect students to learn any more than they must to complete the requirement.
This means that, as educators, we must have limited goals and make limited requests. So we are asking you to complete this cuadernito using four short readings, all of which are available on the wiki. All you need to do is read the readings and then briefly provide the information[1] we’ll ask for. We are also asking that you draw or trace two maps. We will be certain that all Conexiones have the cuadernito information as a baseline.
Se puede contestar en Ingles o Español[2].

In 2004, the New York Times published two articles on Nicaragua, both focusing on Granada. The articles are from the “Travel Writing” genre and are quite readable and pleasant. Read either or both of them[3] and address the questions below:
The Rediscovery of Nicaragua
( )


New York Times, May 2004

Granada, Nicaragua: Its Fall And Rise
( )


New York Times, May 2004

  • What is the history, in brief, of the relationship of theUnited StatestoNicaragua

  • Characterize the government ofNicaragua

  • Describe the setting ofGranada

  • Name some volcanos and explain how it is that volcanos are so important in Nicaraguan life and history

  • Give a brief history ofGranada

  • Follow a “more like this” link on the webpage for either article and comment on the linked material.

As both Articles indicate, literature and more particularly poetry are extraordinarily important. Probably the most important Nicaraguan poet is Ruben Dario. The most important living Nicaraguan Poet is Ernest o Cardonal.

  • Read the text on this wiki page:

  • Then read one of Cardonal’s poems, downloadable on this wiki page:

  • Or listen to Ed Asner read “With Walker inNicaragua” on this wiki page:

  • Write a mini – essay relating Cardonal’s biography, the events of his life, to the poem you chose:

As noted in the introduction, you will be doing cuaderno work in Nicaragua using methods and an outlook borrowed from ethnography.

  • Read the booklet “Folklife and Fieldwork , an Introduction to Fieldwork Techniques” available in both Spanish and English to download or embedded in English on this wiki page:

  • Describe a method that you think is valuable and, for you, useable in learning about Nicaraguan life and culture:

  • Draw or trace a map ofCentral America including the following features:
    • o ThePacific Ocean
    • o The Caribbean Sea,
    • o Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Costa Rica, Panama, Columbia, Cuba, Jamaica
    • o New Orleans, Albuquerque

  • Draw or trace a map ofNicaraguaincluding:
    • o El lago Cocibolca, El lago Managua
    • o El Rio San Juan, San Juan Del Norte, San Juan Del Sur
    • o La Isla Ometepe, La Isla Zapatera, Corn Islands
    • o Archipelago Solentimame
    • o Volcanes: Mombacho, Masaya, Concepcíon, Maribos, San Cristobal
    • o Cerro Mogoton
    • o La Cordillera Isabelia
    • o La Costa Moskita
    • o Granada, Masaya, Ocotal, Bluefields, Managua, Rivas, Leon, Esteli, San Carlos, Matagalpa, Ramos

[1] We understand, of course, that students may wish to reverse the process and simply examine the readings to locate the necessary information.
[2] Several students are planning to be able to count the Honors culture study credits towards their major or minor in Spanish. Those students need to do all cuaderno work in Spanish, including the Cuadernito de Mayo.
[3] Or you may use the Wikipedia entry on Nicaragua. It is interesting to follow the Wikipedia entry because Nicaraguan history, especially of the Contra Wars, is still hotly contested and debated in theUS.