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  • Locations: Managua, Nicaragua
  • Terms: Summer
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Program Information:




Managua Lakefront gardens and palm trees

  • Earn credit towards the Certificate in Public Health or Integrative Physiology elective credit.
  • Gain an understanding of pregnancy and pediatric-related health issues facing rural Nicaraguans, and the public health interventions that target them.

  • Participate in hands-on data collection and analysis alongside rural health committee members and a local community health promoter.

  • See firsthand how Census-Base Impact Oriented (CBIO) methodology is carried out by a 3-way partnership of AMOS Health and Hope, the Nicaraguan Ministry of Health, and local community members.

  • After a week of fieldwork, enjoy a relaxing weekend at a gorgeous crater lake with an optional side trip to an active volcano.

  • Although not required, Spanish language skills would be a plus!

  • Apply to be the videographer for the program and receive a scholarship if selected!



Missed the info session? View the presentation here!


Sunset over Nicaragua waters

The country of Nicaragua is the largest in the isthmus of Central America, and is known for its rich environment and vibrant culture. Among Nicaragua’s top attractions are its national parks, forests, and active volcanoes, resulting in a booming economy in ecotourism that has grown to be Nicaragua’s second largest industry. The country boasts a population of nearly six million, Managua alone accounting for over 2 million, and 58% of the population lives in urban areas. Nicaragua is home to diverse groups of people of varying ethnicities and backgrounds, from which colorful and unique Nicaraguan culture has emerged. Despite recent advances in infrastructure and steady economic growth, one of the biggest challenges facing the Nicaraguan government is reaching and providing for its rural communities.

The goal of global seminar for students to understand how community based primary health care is applied to a rural low-resource setting in Nicaragua. Students should expect accommodations to be basic, hot weather, and some days of lots of physical activity and being on their feet.


Students will stay on the AMOS Managua campus just outside of the capital city, Managua in the first and third week. The AMOS facility includes dormitory style lodging, a dining facility, a clinic, classrooms and office space.

During the second week, students will spend 5 days of field work in the rural area. Housing and meals will be arranged and provided by AMOS. During the fieldwork students will typically stay in a local church or school.


You are responsible for making your own transportation arrangements to Nicaragua and back. Transportation on program related field trips while in Nicaragua will be provided by AMOS and is part of the program fee.


  • Course: IPHY 4890 - Community-Based Primary Health Care
  • Credits: 3 upper-division credit hours
  • Recommended pre-requisite: GEOG 3692, Introduction to Global Public Health course
  • Approved for:
    • Elective credit towards the public health certificate at CU-Boulder
    • Elective credit for Integrative Physiology majors
    • IAFS Functional Area 1 and Latin America Geographic Concentration
  • Grading: This is a CU Boulder course, so you will receive letter grades

Course Description:

In week one, we explore Nicaraguan history, health stats, pediatric and maternal health issues, and the process of CBIO (Census-Base Impact-Oriented) in public health. In week two, we observe the CBIO process on the ground in a rural community. Specific activities will be determined by the community, and may include house-to-house surveys, water sampling, data analysis, and health stations targeting children and pregnant women. In our final week, we delve further into the monitoring and evaluation components of CBIO. This course will apply many concepts covered in the Into to Global Public Health and Epidemiology courses. While Spanish fluency is not required for this course as translation will be available in the field, some proficiency would be beneficial for our interactions with locals.

During this Global Seminar students will engage directly with communities and apply their knowledge of models of Community-Based Primary Health Care (CBPHC). Students will work towards an understanding the Nicaraguan context of health, including history, determinants of health, and health data.

The course will be taught in English, with translation available for our interactions with local people in the field work component. This course will apply many of the concepts covered in the Intro to Global Public Health course and the Epidemiology course in this rural Nicaraguan setting.


The program is directed by Gay Lynn Olsen who is a lecturer in the department of Geography & Integrative Physiology. As an RN, she practices at a Denver school serving newly arrived refugees from 20 countries. Dr. Olsen holds a Nursing Doctorate degree, Master of Arts in Teaching, and Bachelor of Arts in International Affairs. She is passionate about global health education and committed to active, engaged learning. Dr. Olsen’s interest in Nicaragua began with her own undergraduate studies focusing on the history, politics and sociology of Central America.


Take part in excursions to see the cities of Managua and Granada. You will also have the opportunity to see the active Masaya Volcano as well as a trip to Laguna de Apoyo to cool off in the refreshing water!  There is also a boat tour of Las Isletas during the trip to Granada and optional excursions to Leon for the day or a trip to the Masaya Market.




    The following scholarships are specifically for program participants. If you complete a Buffs Abroad application and meet the criteria for these awards, you will automatically be considered.

    • Most students will receive scholarships of $300-$600. These will be determined partially by need, area of study and eligibility.

    • Engineering students are eligible for matching scholarships (an additional $300-$600).

    • Leeds students are eligible to apply for Opportunity Funds if they haven’t yet spent their funds.

    • PLC students are eligible to apply for Enrichment Funds.

  • Global Seminar Videographer: Are you passionate about videography? Are you always the one taking pictures anywhere you go? Do you have a high quality camera? If all this is true and you are going to participate in one of the Global Seminars listed below in summer 2018, then you should apply to be the Official Videographer for your program! The link states the requirements that need to be fulfilled in order to maintain your status as the official videographer for your program and receive a $200 scholarship towards your program's cost.

  • Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP) Grants: (up to $2,400/project) for undergraduate research or creative work projects including projects while studying abroad. Application, detailed descriptions, project archive (to get project ideas) are available on the UROP website. Application deadline is EARLY - usually in late February/early March.



Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.

This program is currently not accepting applications.