Va Pue Magazine

Peace Corps Nicaragua stories of service.


Committee Updates

Volunteers do amazing things on their own. Just imagine what they can do when they work together.

Acoso Callejero: ¡Basta Ya!

To close a month that has been especially full of inspiring projects and campaigns to fight gender-based violence here in Nicaragua, we’d like to share this video created by the Gender and Development Committee of Peace Corps Nicaragua.

This video is a tool that can be used to facilitate discussions with community members about the negative effects that “piropos” or street harassment have on an individual and societal level.

See what else the PCVs of GAD have been up to.

Diversity Update: Nov 2016

Diversity Committee / Peace Corps Nicaragua

In July we had an affinity group!


It was amazing. For the first time, in a long time, PCVs who identify as being diverse had a safe space to share and get to know one another. We spent an entire day discussing how our service as diverse volunteers varies greatly, how we can support each other and how to broach the topic of differences with our fellow PCVs and host country nationals. Continue reading “Diversity Update: Nov 2016”

GAD Update: Nov 2016

GAD Committee / Peace Corps Nicaragua

After the successes of CHACA and our sister-GLOW camp called Mi Momento, looking forward to Camp GLOW 2017 in January, and the beginnings of other gender related initiatives, we’re certainly not feeling blue; there’s a lot happening in the world of GAD.

A Job Well Done

July 2nd-6th brought Continue reading “GAD Update: Nov 2016”

STAR Update: Nov 2016

STAR / Peace Corps Nicaragua

STAR is a group of LGBTQ and allied Peace Corps volunteers who support one another, train staff on LGBTQ issues, and collaborate with Nicaraguan communities.

1. Pride Managua

In June, a group of Peace Corps volunteers attended Pride in Managua, where they were surrounded by hundreds of other people celebrating LGBTQ and allies identities in the streets of Managua. Photo by Coco Lim.

From Coco Lim, EEP 67: Continue reading “STAR Update: Nov 2016”

Editorial Staff, June 2016
VaPué Team June/October 2016 + Past Editor: June 2016 (Left to right) Char Johnson Stoever TEFL 64, Jay Armenta HE 65, Lindsay Nason EEP 65, Josh Berman ENV 15, Nae Werdlow EEP 65, Sam Connor ENV 64, Conor Sánchez TEFL 64, Emily Nilsen TEFL 64

HIV Task Force Update: June 2016

HIVTask Force / Nicaragua

The HIVaids Task Force is currently in a state of exciting transition. We are shifting away from the rigid guidelines that PEPFAR has in place in order to pursue our own projects that directly address the ever changing needs of HIV Prevention and Mitigation in Nicaragua. We are beginning to work on a variety of new projects that Continue reading “HIV Task Force Update: June 2016”

Congratulations, Welcome, and an Invitation: GAD Update June 2016

GAD Committee / Nicaragua

With our 2nd Annual Camp CHACA right around the corner, new committee members, and a new opportunity for PCVs to work towards gender equality to share, GAD is feeling quite excited about the upcoming months.

In order to reach our vision of a world where Power, Respect, and Opportunity are no longer Gendered, we need passionate individuals and groups actively working to reduce inequalities, bridge differences, and broaden understandings. We’re proud of the groups of PCVs who are doing just that and want to invite you to further participate in the work of gender and development in your site and beyond: Continue reading “Congratulations, Welcome, and an Invitation: GAD Update June 2016”

STAR Committee Updates

1. Support group retreat!

2. Alternativa Nicaragüense de Diversidad Sexual-ANDISEX is proud to announce the June 28th LGBT Pride Parade in Managua.

Continue reading “STAR Committee Updates”

Attention Nica PCVs: CHACA 2016 Camper Applications Due May 15th!

GAD Committee / Nicaragua

GAD Nicaragua

Dear Fellow PCVs,


Peace Corps Gender and Development (GAD) Committee will be holding the 2nd Annual Camp CHACA (“De Chaválos a Caballeros”) in the Tisey Reserve, south of Esteli from July 2nd to 6th, 2016 at Eco Posada Tisey. The camp will focus on developing healthy communication skills, the prevention of violence, and leadership.


Applications and permission slips will be due Sunday, May 15th, 2016. All boys ages 14-18 are encouraged to apply.

Download the CHACA 2016 Camper Application here.

Applications need to be scanned/photographed and sent to Liz Hannah, HE 65 (elizhann at  Physical copies of the application will not be accepted; if you are in the office with the physical copy, simply scan it using a Peace Corps scanner, and email. Hold on to the permission slip portion of the application to give to the selected campers for when they travel to the camp

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Wanna be a camp counselor? GAD Update: March 2016

GAD Committee / Nicaragua

GAD Nicaragua

If you’re a PCV in Nicaragua but not on the GAD committee, I can imagine that you’re wondering why you would even read this update. Sure, GAD does cool camps like Camp GLOW and CHACA, but what does that have to do with me?


In order to reach our vision of a world where power, respect, and opportunity are no longer gendered, we need passionate individuals and groups actively working to reduce inequalities, bridge differences, and broaden understandings. We want to help you do just that.

This July break for Camp CHACA (July 2-6), the GAD Committee is piloting a new structure for staffing its gender equality camps. The planning team will be made up of a small amount of GAD members, but the majority of the counselors will be PCVs from outside of the committee.   Counselors will be selected through an application process. We are piloting…

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STAR Update – Feb 2016

Eric Insler / Nica 63 / SBD

We Want You to Work with the Nicaraguan LGBTQ Community!

Coming from the United States, we sometimes convince ourselves that our country and Europe are some of the most socially progressive countries in the world, and most other countries are “religious and conservative.”

However, as I spend more and more time in Nicaragua, I have come to realize that my original suppositions were unfounded, and there are many liberal aspects of Nicaraguan society and culture.

One of these areas is LGBTQ awareness, acceptance, and rights. Continue reading “STAR Update – Feb 2016”

HIV Task Force Update: Feb 2016

Kelsey / Nica 63 / HE

SHORT STORIES FROM THE HIV TASK FORCE: As HIV TaskForcers, we are in a unique position because sometimes we are working alongside professionals in the field of HIV (doctors, nurses, educators), who sometimes know more, medically, than we do. Yet sometimes, we are teaching the basics to people who may believe that shaving and mosquitoes can transmit HIV. Here are our HIV work stories, where Nicaraguan and American culture meet and mingle in unexpected ways! Continue reading “HIV Task Force Update: Feb 2016”

PSN Retreat for Aug 2016: Your Opinion Matters

PSN Committee / Nicaragua

Peer Support Network plans a super divertido retreat twice a year. These events have a limited number of space and are a DRY event. PSN wants to provide opportunities to relieve some stress without substances. The last retreat has been so wonderfully and concisely wrapped up by Ms. Jen Rowley.

The most recent and wildly successful PSN retreat was held on December 27th-29th in Jiquilillo, Chinandega. A small group of us PCVs that were here for the holidays took a long and bumpy journey to the northern beaches of Chinandega to relax and reflect. We stayed at the very peaceful Rancho Tranquilo (dorm beds, 7USD a night) where we chatted on the beach by day and colored Mandalas by night.

Rancho Tranquilo lives up to its name and has a calming beach vibe. Chris Shepperd (HE 63) stated it was a, “Super tranquilo beach and hostel with a staff that made you feel like family. It was conducive to just sitting around, taking a break, and getting to know PCVs and other travelers. It was what a PSN retreat should be.” There was something for everyone; Jen Rowley (TEFL 64) ran and surfed to her heart’s desire while Mary McCoy (HE 63) diligently worked on the OCV grant and read.

A good time was had by all- Rancho Tranquilo has a family style restaurant in which all the guests votes on the two main dishes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, then once the food is ready everyone sits and eats together. We would socialize at dinner then reflect with retreat members about their successes and struggles within the past year. We then brainstormed goals for the 2016 year.

For our next retreat, we will be trying something new! Current PCVs: go to the survey  to vote on the next retreat date and location!

Camp GLOW 2016 Video

GAD Committee / Nicaragua

Mental Health

Taylor / Nica 65 / HE


By: Taylor Boggs

Mental health is defined as a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.

Mental health is an integral and essential component of health. The positive dimension of mental health is stressed in WHO’s definition of health as contained in its constitution: “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” An important implication of this definition is that mental health is more than just the absence of mental disorders or disabilities.

Determenation of Mental Health

Multiple social, psychological, and biological factors determine the level of mental health of a person at any point of time. Poor mental health is also associated with rapid social change…

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Why The Peace Corps Needs LGBTQ Safe Zone Trainings

As the coordinator of the Sexuality Training Awareness and Response (STAR) Peace Corps Volunteer committee in Nicaragua, I train staff and volunteers on LGBTQ issues.

Continue reading “Why The Peace Corps Needs LGBTQ Safe Zone Trainings”

Support Camp CHACA 2016

GAD Committee / Nicaragua

GAD Nicaragua

Camp CHACA (Chavalos a Caballeros, or Boys to Gentlemen) needs your help! 

For the last 20 years, the world has made great advances on the issue of gender inequality through women’s empowerment programs. With a whole generation that has grown up with this mantra, we can see there has been progress, but sadly severe prejudice persists, evidenced by continuous domestic violence and gender discrimination in the workplace. The questions now are, “What is the problem? Why has it not worked like we wanted?”

Gender inequality has been addressed from the perspective that it is a women’s issue. Here with GAD Nicaragua, we host Camp GLOW to empower young women to confront the specific issues and challenges facing them as women in a culture of machismo.  But this only addresses one side of the coin, one aspect of the greater issue.

It’s time to flip the coin.


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