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>  News Releases >   2002 >   December

Dartmouth students return to Siuna, Nicaragua

Dartmouth College Office of Public Affairs • Press Release
Posted 12/10/02 • Contact James Donnelly

During Winter break 2001 students participating in the first of the Tucker Foundation's Cross Cultural Education and Service trips began construction on La Clinica de las Mujeres (pictured), a women's Clinic in Siuna, Nicaragua.

On December 11, 24 Dartmouth undergraduates, along with four graduate students from the Thayer School of Engineering and Dartmouth Medical School and eight Dartmouth faculty and staff, will return to Siuna, Nicaragua, where they will continue work they began last year to construct a women's health clinic and to provide health education programs to the community.

Sponsored by Dartmouth's William Jewett Tucker Foundation, which supports the moral and spiritual work of the College, and by Bridges to Community, a national non-profit organization, the trip is part of a program of cross-cultural education and service projects at Dartmouth which seek to serve other communities, while immersing participants in another culture.

"This expanded mission to Siuna confirms our commitment to maintaining a long-term relationship between Dartmouth and the Siuna community," said Stuart Lord, Dean of the Tucker Foundation.

At the clinic, students will construct interior walls and work on the clinic's roof and lavatories. A graduate student from the Thayer School and an engineering professional will supervise the construction.

Meanwhile, clinical and public health teams will fan out into the community, providing diagnoses, treatment and education to residents in Siuna and beyond. The teams will include three Dartmouth Medical School graduate students and three Dartmouth physicians.

While in Nicaragua the students will work closely with the University of the Autonomous Region of the Caribbean Coast of Nicaragua, staying in its dormitories and interacting with students through lectures and cultural exchange forums. The team will participate in exchanges with local Siuna families; meet with local officials and professional leaders; participate in celebrations and weekly events; and partake in local customs.

"Our goal is to have students interacting as much as possible with the local people," said trip leader and Dartmouth senior Kyle Chambers. "Our focus is to serve the community of Siuna, but at the same time we see this as an opportunity to enrich our own understanding of another culture."

The students will be abroad for fifteen days, returning to the United States on December 24.

- James Donnelly

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