Recommended Reading

While the following list is by no means exhaustive, it is a good starting point to understanding Nicaraguan history and culture as well as the NGO-mediated volunteer experience.

Link to Page Bridging the Gaps: Faith-Based Organizations, Neoliberalism, and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean, edited by Tara Hefferan, Julie Adkins, and Laurie Occhipinti
In Chapter 5 of this book, Timothy Fogarty explains the NGO-mediated voluntourism experience specifically in Nicaragua. Fogarty explains the phenomenon of voluntourism, the NGO presence in Nicaragua, as well as what a volunteer can expect and the ideal outcome of a volunteering experience.

Link to Page After Revolution: Mapping Gender and Cultural Politics in Neoliberal Nicaragua, by Florence E. Babb
This is an excellent resource to understanding the more recent history of Nicaragua, as the neoliberal period began in 1990. Babb comes from a feminist perspective, paying special attention to the role that women have played and continue to play in Nicaragua.

Link to Page Rascally Signs in Sacred Places, by David E. Whisnant Whisnant provides an in-depth examination of Nicaraguan history, from a cultural perspective, tracing back to pre-Spanish conquest times and continuing up until the installation of the neoliberal government in the early 1990s. While a bit hefty, the book provides an invaluable glimpse into different vignettes of life in Nicaragua and explains how culture and politics are inextricably intertwined.

Link to Page Nicaragua In Focus: A Guide to the People, Politics, and Culture, by Hazel Plunkett
This short and inexpensive paperback provides a great overview of Nicaragua, including its history and politics, and pays special attention to Nicaragua's vibrant cultural life, active civil society, and beautiful natural landscape. It's an easy read: ideal for plane-ride reading en route to Nicaragua!