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Nicaragua: Art of Solidarity

JULY 5 - AUGUST 7, 2014

(Registration Deadline: March 14, 2014)

Nicaragua Graphic

Known as the land of lakes and volcanoes, Nicaragua has had a long tradition of struggling against the odds for its own cultural and national identity. The arts have always played a motivating role in reclaiming this unique identity, as seen by the cultural movement of musicians, painters, and writers that emerged from the 1979 revolution.

Art of Solidarity empowers travelers to grow as artists through immersion and exploration across this inspiring landscape, and to experience a collaborative process that can bridge cultural and historical divisions. Students will visit national monuments and museums such as the Plaza of the Revolution and the National Palace in the capital of Managua to learn about the history and culture of the region. They will also explore Lake Nicaragua by boat and gaze into the bottomless mouth of Volcano Masaya where indigenous people once worshipped and war refugees found a safe haven in its tunnels. In the mountain city of Estelí, the streets are lined with murals and live music reverberates off its walls. Students will connect with Nicaraguans through workshops, cultural events, and adventures to local rainforests and waterfalls. Northwest towards Honduras, the small rural town of Limay has ancient roots evident in the petroglyphs scattered along its majestic and winding river. Students will immerse themselves in the local culture living with host families and savoring all aspects of daily life-cooking, swimming in the river, hiking in the mountains, horseback riding, farming, and carving soapstone sculpture. In partnership with local artist groups, students will teach workshops to high school youth to create public art and digital media projects that culminate in a public art exhibition.

Program fees include all accommodations, all ground transportation within Nicaragua, and the majority of meals. Check out


Maria Gabriela Aldana has been interpreting and living two cultures her entire adult life, advocating for social justice through education and adventure. She received her BFA and MA in Community Arts from the Maryland Institute College of Art. Aldana is the Outreach Coordinator for Creative Alliance, where she directs community-based programs through creating art and corralling performances, such as the annual Maryland Traditions Folklife Festival and Halloween Lantern Parade.

Aleks Martray is an artist and educator who uses visual art, music, and digital media as a vehicle for empowering and connecting people. He received his BFA in painting and MA in community arts from the Maryland Institute College of Art. Martray has worked with the Baltimore Mural Program, Philadelphia Mural Arts Program, Scribe Video Center, and Spiral Q Puppet Theater.


• $3,700 (does not include international airfare)

Includes tuition for 3 undergraduate credits in General Fine Arts or Video OR Studio Elective

• $5,260 (does not include international airfare)

Includes tuition for 3 undergraduate credits in General Fine Arts or Video OR Studio Elective

+ 3 undergraduate credits in Art History (with approval from the dept.)


Contact program coordinator Maria Aldana at

Open to undergraduate and graduate students in all majors-18 years or older with a valid passport-who have completed at least one year of college. For all programs, credits can be applied to Studio Elective. For more information, or to inquire about scholarships, contact the School for Professional and Continuing Studies at or 410-225-2219.