by Crystal Harpstreit
This January, Mystic resident, Stafford McLean, a graduate student at Quinnipiac University, traveled to Nicaragua to help raise money at two different radio stations and to learn about Nicaraguan culture. He traveled with a number of other students from Quinnipiac calling the group a “mixed bag.”
The two radio stations that Stafford and his fellow students worked at are called Radio Dario, named after Ruben Dario, a celebrated Nicaraguan poet, and Radio Amistad. “The radio station is looking to raise money for cameras and other equipment,” said Stafford of Radio Dario. This is so that its journalists can cover local events with ease. Stafford says that currently journalists use cell phones to call back and forth to the station from the event they are covering. Journalists and radio broadcasters are also expected to sponsor their own ads. Stafford says that Quinnipiac is, “Looking to fund some grants and to promote the well being of the two radio stations in Leon.”
The other facet of this trip was for the students to obtain knowledge about Nicaraguan culture. The Quinnipiac students were housed by local families who Stafford described as “very warm,” even noting that it is common for students to call their hosts mom and dad. Stafford joked that his host family was a bit confused when they first met him, he calls himself “an older student” and as most families are used to housing students in their twenties, they thought that Stafford was a professor.