Jesuit colleges and universities in the United States have issued a statement supporting their sister institution, Universidad Centroamericana (UCA), in Nicaragua.
The Nicaraguan government’s announcement of an overhaul of the Social Security benefits system last week was met with a popular uprising not seen “since the end of the nation’s civil war nearly 30 years ago,” as reported in The New York Times. While President Daniel Ortega has since reversed the order, tensions remain high in the country.
Against this backdrop, the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU), issued a statement on April 24 that reads in part:
“Over the past few days, Nicaragua has seen a return to the repression and violence that have scarred its past. On behalf of the 28 Jesuit colleges and universities in the United States, we express our solidarity with our Jesuit sister institution, the University of Central America (UCA) of Nicaragua, which calls its students to peaceful advocacy for social justice, even as government violence at the University’s gates suppresses dissent.”
Seattle University shares a longstanding and special relationship with UCA, as formalized through an agreement in 2014. That partnership is now part of the university’s Central America Initiative, which Serena Cosgrove, PhD, leads as faculty coordinator. She was asked by AJCU to draft its statement of solidarity, which you can read in full here.
Over several years, faculty, students and staff at SU have collaborated with colleagues at UCA on a number of scholarly and programmatic activities.