The first Time Travel in Latin America

Ebbe Westergren from Kalmar, Sweden and I started the preparation for the time travel in the small mountain town of La Dalia only two and a half days before the event. It was a hard job. We had earlier decided on focusing on the coffee plantations, which became important in the La Dalia region in the 1970s. But now we had to find a site. The first farm we visited was not a good representative for early coffee farms in La Dalia and there were no labour houses. We got some suggestions of other farms nearby. When we came to La Estrella coffee farm we realized after a while that this was a perfect farm for a time travel. The boss of the farm, El Peluche, received us with open arms. He liked the time travel idea and was proud that his farm was chosen for a time travel. We decided on the year 1980, one year after the Sandinista revolution when there was a lot of expectations and hope in Nicaragua. That year also a gigantic literacy campaign was launched and thousands of brigadistas were sent all over the country to teach people how to read and write. The La Estrella farm had a lot of houses from 1980 still in place: administration buildings, the workers houses, office, cantina, even the classroom where the alphabetization classes took place in 1980. And of course big coffee plantations. Everything was still in use in more or less the same way as 1980.

There were two hard-working days to write the scenario, ecide upon the key questions and activities, fi ndprops, write the role cards etc. March 12 about 60 eople gathered for the time travel workshop, peoplefrom Dario, three hours away, from the big city of atagalpa and of course from La Dalia.We started in the morning with a presentation about he time travel method. Ebbe showed slides from timetravels in different countries. I spoke about my time ravel experiences in South Africa last year.

In the afternoon we travelled to La Estrella coffee farm, tarted the time travel and moved to the year 1980.The topic was coffee farming and the alphabetization ampaign. We even had the old leaders of the farmfrom 1980 and real teachers from the alphabetization. e divided the big group into two parts, one group orked in the coffee plantation, repaired baskets,made coffee and tortillas while the other group went nto the classroom and had a lesson on vowels andwords. Bosse and Chibola were real good teachers and think that this part of the time travel was the best. Iwas a very intelligent student, of course.

The key questions we discussed a lot were "What is he way forwards for Nicaragua after the revolution?"and "How do I contribute to the development of the country?

Most of the group spoke only Spanish but there were ix interpreters translating from English to Spanishand vice versa.The time travel was a big success. Everybody was happy and developed their own character. We all did our best, sang revolutionary songs and shouted slogans from the time. The time travel, even if it was short, was really great, I must say. And maybe the best result was that we put some interest about the time travel method into the Ministry of Education Authorities in La Dalia, the Matagalpa region and Managua, too. Marlon Rivera Aldana English Teacher at the Olof Palme Institute La Dalia, Nicaragua

Marlon Rivera Aldana
English Teacher at the Olof Palme Institute
La Dalia, Nicaragua