Oral History Project

In order to learn more about Nicaragua’s drinking culture and the presence of alcohol for my final project, I spoke with Mike Boudreau, the executive director of Compas de Nicaragua. I was very fortunate to speak with Mike and learn from his experiences living and working in La Paz, Nicaragua. Below is a link to my interview with Mike as well as select quotes that I found to be particularly important to understanding Nicaraguans without having been there in person.

“People know that life’s hard in Nicaragua. A lot of men are out of work and unfortunately the easiest thing for them is to forget about it and pick up the bottle, whereas women will find other ways to support their families. But the fact that it’s not looked down upon, [they] can approach these people and find help.”

“[the see-something, do-something approach] touches a little bit on Nicaragua’s history through the revolution, where people are doing for others. You know trying to make their communities better.”

“…if you call the police, you’re not being polite to your neighbors… even in rural areas, there will be loud music and partying on the weekends… if you’re a catholic you can drink, if you’re a non-catholic [evangelical] you cannot drink”

“It’s more expected that young people are going to drink, and they also think that for some of the folks – some of the older people who have been drinking and obviously have had a problem – there may be some points where the family just says, ‘we’ve done all we can do.’ ”

“You see them almost every day hanging out on the street corners.”

“I’ve heard people say that they’ve tried to reach out and there’s not much we can do”

“The government is actually coming out with this program, and are going around to neighborhoods in Managua and small towns and reaching out to people who are on the street and drinking and obviously have a problem with substance abuse.”