Alumni & Friends - Ways to get involved and give back

Kira in Nicaragua

Hello family and colleagues, friends and strangers! Welcome to my blog. I have embraced the world of internet journaling for the purpose of keeping in touch with my dear ones while I’m away from Canada this coming year. I enthusiastically encourage comments on my posts as well as emails (to – I want to know what’s going on in your lives too! In fact, maybe each of you should start blogging yourselves.

Where am I going? What am I doing?

Let me tell you.

I am entering my 4th year (of 5) in the University of Toronto Scarborough’s co-operative International Development Studies program. This means taking a work placement with a development organization operating in the global south, and doing thesis research along the way. My friends and classmates of 3 years are in the process of scattering across the globe, from Cambodia to Swaziland to Guyana and many places in between.

As for me, I’m off to Nicaragua to spend 12 months with the Asociación de Trabajadores del Campo (or ATC Nicaragua) – the Rural Workers’ Association, in English. ATC Nicaragua is a social movement organization representing over 47, 400 smallholder farmers and landless agricultural workers across the country.

I have been given the romantic and intriguing job title of documentarian for my internship. My tasks in this role are expected to include:

  1. Documenting, organizing, and synthesizing field experiences in Nicaragua’s agroecological corridor, using audio-visual equipment to record some of the dialogue stemming from peasant exchanges of seeds and knowledge;
  2. Preparing documents that:
    • Explain the field procedures in which peasants engage and…
    • Allow the movement to optimize the use of limited resources
  3. Assisting professors at the ATC’s agroecological institute with the preparation of lesson plans and pedagogical resources;
  4. Working alongside students, teachers, and activists on the school farm;
  5. Conducting field research for my undergraduate thesis (to be written in 2016-2017).

That’s a lot of words. My future blog posts (composed of yet more words) will aim to offer a tangible, first hand account of what this work looks like on the ground. And so… read on!

– Kira

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