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Nicaraguan Ambassador To Give Blavatt Lecture at Gettysburg College

(4/17) As part of a two-day visit to Adams County, Nicaragua's Ambassador to the United States Francisco Campbell will give the annual Blavatt Lecture at 7:30 p.m. April 22 in the Gettysburg College Ballroom. The event is sponsored by the Project Gettysburg-Leˇn and the Eisenhower Institute, both administered by Gettysburg College. The public is invited.

The following day, he and his wife will visit Lincoln Elementary in Gettysburg, and tour local farms and a fruit processing plant in Upper Adams.

His lecture topic will be "U.S. Nicaragua Relations: Respectful Engagement to Move Forward." Mayor William Troxell will present the ambassador with the key to the Borough of Gettysburg.

The visit by Ambassador Campbell and his wife Miriam Hooker is in recognition of 30 years of interaction between the people of Leˇn and Gettysburg. In 1989 Project Gettysburg-Leˇn established an official sister-city relationship with Nicaraguaĺs second-largest city by action of the Gettysburg Borough Council. Since its inception, more than 750 people have traveled back and forth between the sister cities, including a former borough manager, several borough councilpersons, and the mayor of Leˇn.

At 10:30 am Wednesday Ambassador Campbell and his wife will visit Lincoln Elementary School, Gettysburg, where he will be welcomed by the Gettysburg District School Superintendent. Also present will be Gettysburg and Upper Adams art teachers and pupils who have been involved in a variety of projects and exchanges between Taller Artistico Xuchialt, the school for the arts in Leˇn supported by PGL. Marlon Moreno, former director of Taller Artistico Xuchialt and currently resident artist at Lincoln Elementary, will explain the two murals Lincoln students have painted. At this time, the ambassador and his wife will participate with 5th graders in making art cards with traditional Nicaraguan symbols.

On Wednesday afternoon members of the Young Growers Alliance of Adams County will meet with the ambassador and his wife to describe their program in Nicaragua, undertaken with the support of Project Gettysburg-Leon and Penn State Extension, to sponsor and train rural extension agents in Talolinga, Nicaragua. Presently the Young Growers Alliance is sponsoring three such extension trainees. Their visit with the Young Growers Alliance will include a tour of a number of farms and the Rice Fruit Company.

Ambassador Campbell is the first Ambassador from Nicaragua from the autonomous regions of Nicaragua's Caribbean coast. In his previous diplomatic career he has been Nicaragua's Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Angola and Zambia. From 1997 to 2010 Ambassador Campbell served as an elected member of the Central American Parliament, where he served as vice-president. He has been the driving force building institutions for indigenous populations on Nicaragua's East Coast and was one of the founders of the Autonomous University in Bluefields. He has a Master's Degree in Political Science from the University of Hawaii. He has taught at Williams College and was a Fulbright Scholar in residence at Baldwin-Wallace College in Ohio.

Miriam Hooker is a graduate of the National Autonomous University in Nicaragua and has done advanced study in Costa Rica, the Scandinavian countries and at Johns Hopkins. She was also was one of the founders of the Autonomous University in Bluefields. For 15 years she was the Executive Director of the Center for Human, Civil and Autonomous Rights on the Caribbean Coast of Nicaragua. Presently she is Minister Counselor for Consular Relations and Public Diplomacy Coordinator at the Nicaraguan Embassy.

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