The Bucknell Brigade to Nicaragua was formed 14 years ago in response to five days of rain and flooding brought upon the Central American country by Hurricane Mitch in 1998. During spring break of 1999, the first delegation of Bucknell University students and staff traveled to Nicaragua and worked in partnership with residents of Nueva Vida, a refugee community of over 15,000 people displaced by the disaster.
Since then, two Brigades have traveled annually to this impoverished village outside of Managua, the country's capital city. Working to assist those with few resources, Bucknell has partnered with a small non-profit, non-governmental agency, Jubilee House Community (JHC), which is based near Managua. With JHC, we have been able to help supply a community health program, dig latrines, plant trees, and increase employment opportunities through the creation and development of worker-owned co-operatives.
Each year the Bucknell Brigade strives to raise $40,000 through generous donations and by hosting fundraisers. With these funds, the Bucknell Brigade has been able to build and maintain a permanent health clinic to serve sick individuals in Nueva Vida. Each year, over 3,000 patients, many suffering from malnutrition or parasites, are seen at this health clinic. Currently, we help to provide medicines for the facility and salaries for the local doctors and nurses, so that the clinic’s doors can remain open.