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UT Austin International Office Study Abroad

bluefields nicaragua aads summer abroad

Program Description

The Caribbean coast of Nicaragua is blessed by incredible natural beauty. It is rapidly becoming a site for cultural- and eco-tourism due to its unspoiled villages, beaches and lagoons, and the African-derived Caribbean culture of its communities.

Based in Bluefields, the capital city of the Southern Atlantic Autonomous Region in Nicaragua, the program is designed to provide students with a unique international experience with faculty preeminently fit to give them an outstanding intellectual experience. Classes are held at the University of the Autonomous Regions of the Caribbean Coast of Nicaragua (URACCAN), one of two regional universities founded in the 1990s by Black and indigenous costeños. The program courses appeal to students who are interested in activist scholarship, race, gender, class, sexuality and identity.

By experiencing the unique culture of Bluefields, students learn about a related-but-distinct strand of the Black experience in the Americas, which is relatively unknown outside of the region. The course is conducted in English, as this area of the Atlantic Coast has a particular history with Anglo-Saxon powers.

The program seeks intellectually ambitious students who are interested in research that has a social justice focus. Students interact and conduct joint research projects with URACCAN students and other Black and indigenous costeños. The program culminates in a presentation of original research that considers the processes of race, gender, power and culture operating within and upon Black communities.


  • AFR 374E / LAS 337M / GOV 365N / WGS 340 | Afro-Caribbean Politics and Culture in Central America
  • AFR 373 | Independent Research

Faculty Directors

Juliet Hooker

juliet hookder

Dr. Juliet Hooker, a native of Bluefields, is the Associate Director of the Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies and a professor of Government as well as African and African Diaspora Studies. Dr. Hooker’s research and teaching interests include theories of multiculturalism, critical race theory, African American and Latin American political thought, and indigenous and Afro-descendant politics in Latin America.

Edmund Gordon

Dr. Edmund Gordon, who has lived and worked in Bluefields since the 1980s, is Department Chair and a professor of African and African Diaspora Studies, and is the former Director of the Center for African and African American Studies.  He is an expert in the politics and culture of Black Caribbean communities. Dr. Gordon’s teaching and research interests include culture and power in the African diaspora, gender studies (particularly Black males), critical race theory, and the racial economy of space and resources.

Program and Application Details

For full program details and information on how to apply, go to the Program Page.

Questions? Email: Ellen Aoki.