Promotoras in Nicaragua: Community development, women, participation, and empowerment

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This thesis examines the impact of women promotoras on community development in Nicaragua. Promotoras have become crucial catalysts and mediators of local development by enhancing community outreach, broadening participation, enabling individual/collective empowerment, and finding creative ways to collaborate with community members. Their work expands women's leadership roles, while contributing to overall project sustainability. Key to the promotoras' success is their own process of personal transformation through community work based on popular education and capacity building. However, organizational, cultural and economic limitations present challenges to the promotoras' approach; for instance, traditional machista attitudes question women's ability to occupy leadership positions, while economic constraints force promotoras to leave their voluntary positions in favour of better-remunerated work. The contributions and limitations of promotoras' work are relevant for policy-makers, practitioners and funders of community development, especially that oriented towards poor women.

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Latin American Studies Program - Simon Fraser University
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Thesis (M.A.)