Without adequate cultural laws and a lack of governmental will to protect cultural rights, independent culture in Nicaragua is currently under treat from commercial interests and market forces. The closure of two major literary supplements in Nicaragua has prompted PEN Nicaragua to bolster independent journalism in their country. Their project aims to train young writers and independent bloggers and journalists through a series of workshops and public debates. Working with major universities in the country, they will hold workshops focusing on creative writing, photojournalism, cultural journalism and use of ICTs. PEN Nicaragua will also organise public debates on: freedom of expression; cultural promotion; the right to publish; censorship and self-censorship; academic freedom in universities.

The workshops will be open to 25 students per workshop, and the debates will aim to have 200 attendees. The project will cover everything from the elaboration of curricula for the workshops and the content of the debates, to the choice of teaching staff and of panellists, and to the dissemination of these events through partnerships with Universities, but also local radio stations, online publications and independent journalists. In this way PEN Nicaragua’s project aims to defend and bolster Nicaraguans’ right to access and participate in culture by helping to develop a new generation of journalists, writers and photographers