With April 18 – the one-year anniversary of the Nicaraguan popular civic uprising – quickly approaching, many are finding ways to commemorate the heroes who fought and continue to fight for the future of the Central American country.
For Nicaraguans, April 18, 2018 is defined by turmoil and disgrace. However, it marks the social awakening of Nicaraguans, who, after 12 years, broke their silence against Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo’s government. Protests began in early April after the government’s negligence and inaction toward the Reserva Biológica Indio Maíz after fires broke out.
But things hit a fever pitch on April 18 after university students joined their elders to protest against the social security reforms Ortega tried to enact. With the government responding with violence, Nicaraguans took the streets. Around the country, they chanted, held up signs, waved their white-and-blue flags. They occupied spaces, and the government responded with even more violence, sending in police and paramilitary groups, which shot civilians. On April 19, Nicaragua lost its first two heroes: 29-year-old Darwin Manuel Urbina and 17-year-old Richard Eduardo Pavón.
Nicaraguans in the diaspora saw the day unfold through our phones. We felt anger, astonishment, fear, but mostly, we felt useless. But seeing the resilience and bravery of those in Nicaragua gave us strength to resist alongside them. Days after the civic uprising began, people in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami, New York, Toronto, Costa Rica, and Spain organized their own rallies in front of Nicaraguan consulates. They gathered resources and money so they could support those on the frontlines.
Since April 18, Nicaraguans are still raising their voices against Ortega and Murillo and facing the consequences. One year later, the government continues stifling the voices of dissenters, the press can’t operate as it should (not only are they suppressed, they also don’t have ink), political prisoners remain jailed for speaking out, and people have had to flee the country. Life isn’t normal in Nicaragua.
Given all of this, they still need our support. On the one-year anniversary, several organizations are hosting events to remember the birth of Nicaragua’s new social rebellion. Below, check out a list of events in different cities where you can support the Nicaraguan community.
When: April 18, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Where: Columbia University, Low Plaza, New York, NY
Alianza, SIPA’s Latin American Student Association, and the Institute of Latin American Studies will host an outdoor photography exhibition that highlights the student-led protests in Nicaragua.
Learn more here.
When: April 19, at 11 a.m.
Where: Battery Park, New York, NY 10004
Another New York event, this time hosted by the Comite SOS NYNJ, will pay tribute to those who have suffered at the hands of the government. Attendees should bring white flowers if attending.
When: April 19, from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Where: Seattle International Foundation, 1601 Fifth Ave., Suite 1900, Seattle, WA 98101
At this Seattle International Foundation event, attendees can hear from the survivors of the ongoing crisis. This panel will feature a Nicaraguan lawyer whose brother died in the protests, a Nicaraguan student who escaped the violence to study at Seattle University, and a Seattle International Foundation Program Officer from Nicaragua.
When: April 19, from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Where: Freedom Plaza, 1455 Pennsylvania Ave N.W., Washington, DC
With the DMV’s sizable Central American community, it makes sense that a rally would take place in Washington, DC. The April 19 event is a chance to demand justice for political prisoners.
When: April 19 at 5 p.m.
Where: Florida International University, Modest A. Maidique Campus, Miami, FL 33199
Students have played an important role in the civic uprising, so it’s important to center their activism in discussions about April 18. This Miami event will give three student leaders who are part of the movement a platform. Join Lesther Alemán, Eliecib Gago, and Jeancarlos Lopez at this event.
When: April 19 at 5:30 p.m.
Where: 2699 S.W. 6th St., Miami, FL 33135
Miami, home to the biggest Nicaraguan population in the United States, will be the site of the Marcha de las Cruces. The event is a collaboration between many groups – including Nueva Nicaragua, Nicas Autoconvocados en Miami, and Comunidad Nicaragüense, and more – and will start at 5:30 p.m. The march starts at 6:45 p.m. and will be about an hour long, ending at José Martí Park.
When: April 19, from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Where: 1 Dr. Carlton B Goodlett Place, San Francisco, CA 94102
San Francisco has a large community of Nicaraguans, and The Collation of Bay Organizers is hosting a community vigil for Nicaragua at City Hall.
Learn more here.
When: April 19 at 7 p.m.
Where: Good Shepherd-Faith Presbyterian Church, 152 W 66th St., New York, NY 10023
This event, also hosted by Comite SOS NYNJ, is a commemoration for the fallen, the political prisoners, and the exiled.
When: April 19, 2019 at 11 p.m.
Where: Plaza La Cubanidad, 17 avenue, West Flagler Street, Miami, FL 33172
Hundreds of people have died since the beginning of the protests. This event, titled Héroes de Abril, will pay tribute to those who have been killed. This event will take place from April 19 at 11 p.m. Nicaraguan students living in exile in Miami curated this event.
When: April 20 at 10 a.m.
Where: Pershing Square, 532 S. Olive St., Los Angeles, CA 90013
Starting at Pershing Square, this Los Angeles march will span almost a mile and end at Civic Center. The event – hosted by Alianza Autoconvocados del Sur de California, Nicaragua Libre Los Angeles, and more – honors the heroes who have fought for Nicaragua’s future.
When: April 20 from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Where: Big Chief, 2002 Fenwick Street N.E., Washington, DC
Adobo is a music community collective that aims to preserve and celebrate Latin culture while raising money and awareness for causes affecting the region and its people. This Saturday, Daniel Chamorro – Nicaraguan DJ-activist and founder of Adobo – and Waltero will host a Day Party. All proceeds will go toward aiding the Nicaraguan exiles living in Costa Rica.
When: April 21 at 4 p.m.
Where: Oberlin College, Wilder 101, Oberlin, Ohio
Gabriel Perez Setright – a Nicaraguan artist, writer, and critic currently in self-exile in the United States – will speak at this Oberlin College event about organizing an insurrection.
When: April 21 at 5:45 p.m.
Where: Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish, 10460 139 St, Surrey, BC V3T 4L5, Canada
Canada also has a sizable Central American community, and on April 21, this vigil honoring Nicaraguans will take place in the country.