Critical Community Engagement Across Borders: Canada and Nicaragua

  • Mirna E. CarranzaEmail author
  • María Isolda Jiménez Peralta
  • Luz Angelina López Herrera
  • Martha Miuriel Suárez Soza
Reference work entry
Part of the Social Work book series (SOWO)


This chapter details a community collaboration across borders and the processes that were operationalized to resist the trappings of International Social Work. The project was born out of a discussion in a coffee shop about the impacts of violence against women in Nicaragua – specifically, the forcible displacement of women. The cross-border collaboration was initiated to interrogate the structures of patriarchy and machismo – specifically gender-based violence and the commercial sexual exploitation of children. To do so, we designed the project to cultivate localized knowledge and community solutions. Using a community-based participatory approach in our qualitative research, we attempted to center the voices of women and service providers. The initial goal was to map service provision and determine the needs of each community. This needs assessment allowed for the team to determine locally based solutions to prevent gender-based violence and methods to strengthen interventions. This project occurred at a time when conflicting influences were attempting to reshape social work practice in Nicaragua. Government attention favored financial interests, solidifying the central role of neoliberalism in dictating the direction of the state, the social safety net, and the potential for social work intervention.


Nicaragua International Social Work Violence against Women Collaboration Qualitative Social Work 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mirna E. Carranza
    • 1
    Email author
  • María Isolda Jiménez Peralta
    • 2
  • Luz Angelina López Herrera
    • 2
  • Martha Miuriel Suárez Soza
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Social WorkMcMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada
  2. 2.Facultad Regional Multidisciplinaria Estelí [Regional Multidisciplinary Faculty-Estelí] (FAREM-Managua)EsteliNicaragua

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