Events & Newsletters

León Director Position

Two-Year Commitment
(June 2018 Start)

Project Minnesota/León (PML) is a non-profit sister-state organization serving Minnesota and the department (state) of León, Nicaragua. It supports small-scale initiatives for community development in León, and organizes educational and cultural group travel opportunities for Minnesotans to visit Nicaragua.

Clear more below to view the position description. Or click here to dowloand a copy. 

Youth in the San Carlos community have benefited from the accompaniment of development expert Rosa Lira. The youth group’s current project is to obtain land for a community recreation lot.

Good news: Project Minnesota/León's generous supporters contributed $3000 at this fall's Fiesta Fundraiser toward purchase of the land.

San Carlos Update

On August 24 about 70 people representing 160 participating San Carlos households attended an all-community meeting and heard the good news: the potable water project was approved!

The water project is another example of how the community organizing tutelage of Project Minnesota/León’s project facilitator, Rosa Lira, has led to success in rural San Carlos.

Project Minnesota/León supporters contributed $5000 in matching funds to this project and Rosa’s accompaniment, offering generous pledges at the annual Fiesta Fundraiser on October 15.


The annual Project Minnesota/León Fiesta Fundraiser was a great success. Friends gathered to bid on silent auction items, listen to live music, and enjoy a tasty tamale meal.

A hightlight of the evening was learning from Professor Eric Selbin, who wove personal stories about his connection to PML into his talk about the revolutionary process and current political climate in Nicaragua.

PML Fiesta Fundraiser

Saturday, Oct. 14, 6:15 p.m.

Church of Saint Albert the Great
2836 33rd Ave. S., Minneapolis

Special Guest Speaker

Dr. Eric Selbin, expert on Nicaragua, revolution, and rebellion


Social Hour, Latin Fusion Dinner, Live Music


Order your tickets online.

Donate to the silent auction.

The World Happiness Report 2017 hails Nicaragua as making the greatest gains in overall happiness.

Carlos Salinas Maldonado, journalist and international correspondent, and Carl David Goette-Luciak, anthropologist, both in Managua, ask, "How can Nicaragua be so happy when it has a stack of sad statistics?"

Read their article here.


Conversation, Coffee, and Dessert


Join Project Minnesota/León for "Climate Change Impacts in Central America," a panel discussion. Coffee and dessert will be served.
When: Earth Day
Saturday, April 22
6:30 to 8:30 p.m. 
Where: First Universalist Church
3400 Dupont Avenue South 
Minneapolis, MN 55408
Elizabeth Moreira, PML's León director and one of the panelists, will speak about our clean water initiative in San Carlos.
Click here to register today!

Eventbrite - Project Minnesota/León Earth Day Forum: Climate Change Impacts in Central America


On a sloppy day late last fall in Minneapolis, Bill Dickey’s thoughts turned to León, Nicaragua.

His plan for reaching this warmer, sunnier clime? Jumping on a couple planes, arriving eight hours later in Managua? No. Riding a motorcycle four thousand miles.

Bill's motorcycle ride is a fundraiser for Project Minnesota/León, with 100 percent of the proceeds going to PML. Click here to make a donation through Bill's GoFundMe page. 

Follow Bill's blog here, starting September 14. You won't want to miss his adventures!

Two weeks! With PML's support, that’s how long it took the residents of San Carlos to accomplish building a new well at the local elementary school.

From identifyting a partner organization, to meeting its requirements, obtaining government permits, clearing land, building a platform, digging the well, installing the pump, and celebrating this great accomplishment ... well, find out how they did it! 

A new study released by the Institute of International Education’s Center for Academic Mobility Research and Impact reveals positive impact for study abroad participants in the job market post-graduation.

The internships and group travelopportunities PML provides in Nicaragua for youth can help accomplish this goal.

Most of our trips are customized for groups, but we offer a few pre-arranged trips, two now under development.

Arts, Literature, and Guided Writing

Late July – Early August 2018 (10 days)

We will explore Nicaraguan arts, literature, poetry, history, music, food, and daily life in the city of León, the nation’s intellectual center, while reflecting on those experiences with daily guided writing.

Informational meeting will be held Sunday, March 11, at 12:30 at Unity Church, 732 Holly Ave., St. Paul.

Click more at the bottom of this column for more information.



August 11–21, 2018

Learn about emigration from Nicaragua, the impact of immigration on individuals and families in Nicaragua, and how people in the United States can support immigrants.

Click more at the bottom of this column for more information.


The Environment and Sustainability

Postponed until 2019

Learn about León's dry tropical forests, agriculture, initiatives to secure clean drinking water, and the impacts of climate change, pollution, and deforestation. Visit volcanoes and the Pacific Ocean.

Click more at the bottom of this column for details.


Water Commission Reaches Agreement with Neighboring Water Board

People who live in the rural community of San Carlos, about five miles from León, are concerned about diminishing access to potable water. Wells have been drying up during the past few years of drought, which residents fear is reducing the water table. Furthermore, most well water is contaminated.

Rural households draw their water from local wells with no guarantee that the water supply will be adequate or safe. 

Francisco José Muñoz, expert on birds of Nicaragua and author of A Guide to the Birds of Nicaragua/ Una Guía de Aves, visited Minnesota this spring to promote bird tourism and his book. Project Minnesota/León is pleased to share his report about his successful visit.

Rosa wears a variety of hats in her work as Project Minnesota/León’s project facilitator. Sometimes the hat she wears is that of simply another woman concerned about the San Carlos community.

Rosa catches up on office work, one of many behind-the-scene aspects of her work.

Often, of course, she wears the hat of a facilitator—when she schedules small group, advocacy group, and community-wide meetings; invites women to attend the gatherings; and helps identify resource people for the women. She also wears that hat when she meets with group, managing the conversations without telling the group members what they should think or do.

When she visits organizations with advocacy groups, her hat is that of a coordinator. Then she arranges meetings and accompanies the women, but she stays in the background.

Click more below to read about changes taking place in San Carlos as PML walks with the community. 

Please click here to read other PML news in our informative spring newsletter. 

Practice of accompaniment brings vital changes to the community

Development professionals in many types of organizations are increasingly viewing their work as accompaniment, rather than providing aid. Based on an attitude of respect for people, the model assumes everyone has resources—insight, talent, time, and experience—that they can use to solve their own problems. Development staff and volunteers no longer assume they are the experts and, therefore, in charge. 

Rosa Lira Ulloa, Project Minnesota/
León’s project facilitator, often speaks one-to-one with women, explaining that each person can contribute to solutions to problems in the San Carlos community.  

A Dialogue between Bird Experts from Nicaragua and Minnesota

Project Minnesota/León is hosting a dialogue between bird experts from Minnesota and Nicaragua. They will discuss the migratory path between our countries and the impact of climate change.

Please join us for dessert, coffee, and dialogue.

Date: Saturday, April 30, 2016, 6:30 to 8:00 p.m.

Location: First Universalist Church, 3400 Dupont Avenue South, Minneapolis, in the Social Hall 

This event is free and open to the public. PML will ask for donations at the end of the evening to support our work to build relationships between the people of Minnesota and Nicaragua. 

Xuchialt Art School, which is financially supported by Project Minnesota/León, was commissioned by the Nicarguan Embassy in Washington, D. C., to create a painting for its offices. The original painting will be converted into a large banner for display to the public.  

First Universalist Church’s Youth Cultural Exchange (YCE) group is busily preparing to host participants’ Nicaraguan “siblings” this July. Twelve teens from the church travelled to León summer of 2015.


This two-year program is an intensive and time-consuming experience, but all the work will be worth it when the Nicaraguan teens come to Minnesota. This is a life-changing experience for all twenty-four teenagers as they unite in friendship across cultural, language, and economic differences. 

Check out PML's new video. Learn how the women of San Carlos, a rural area outside León, Nicaragua, worked together to restore water and electricity to their community health clinic—and how they ensured that the clinic is staffed five days a week. 

As we begin a new year, we are re-energized to carry on our work of building solidarity with dignity and fostering connections that go beyond collaboration.  Through our relationships, we bind the dreams, desires and abilities of people in Minnesota and in León, Nicaragua.  Our efforts continue thanks to everyone who, in some way or another, is a part of PML.

The world’s biggest canal project—a $50bn interoceanic canal through Nicaragua—has been delayed, following an environmental report and a collapse in the fortunes of the Chinese businessman behind the company that planned to build it.

  • The City of León celebrated the feast of La Virgen de La Merced.
  • Board member María Luisa Avendaño reflects on her experience with PML. 
  • Half a dozen individual volunteers have worked with PML in León—exploring the legal profession, teaching English, shooting video and photographs, and interviewing PML staff and board members. 




Saturday, October 8 

6:15 to 9:00 PM


Early Bird Discount! 

Click HERE to buy tickets.


Latin Fusion Dinner

Social Hour

With Mojitos, Wine, Beer


Live Music by Cuban Salsa Rueda

Silent and Live Auctions


Keynote: San Carlos WELL-Being

Elizabeth Moreira, PML's León Director 


Church of St. Albert the Great

2836 33rd Avenue South

Minneapolis, MN 

Unlike other Central American countries, Nicaragua has not suffered the violence of drug wars. Nicaragua has taken a different approach to fighting drug trafficking.