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Our Mission

The Monitoring Issues of Central and South America (MI CASA) Research Group aims to raise awareness on current issues and conflicts in Latin America, including the Caribbean Nations. It is our goal to use MI CASA as a platform to create partnerships among NSU students, faculty, alumni, and individuals from different countries in Latin American in order to promote research, generate projects, and apply nonviolent techniques to foster and promote peace in this region. MI CASA respects the diversity of cultures, values and thoughts, and promotes multicultural interaction. MI CASA is committed to making your participation in this group an extraordinary experience.

Our Objectives

  • Stimulate a new generation of scholars and practitioners who show concern and are willing to work on the challenges of peace and conflict resolution in Latin America.
  • Generate partnerships for learning, research, and exchange of knowledge around specific initiatives in Latin America.
  • Generate opportunities for NSU students, faculty and alumni to acquire real life experience through research, fieldwork, and global courses in Latin America.
  • Create networks and promote multicultural interaction among NSU students, faculty and alumni with different communities in Latin America.
  • Organize conferences pertaining to issues in Latin America.
  • Present papers on a variety of topics related to Latin American Conflicts.
  • Debate issues in relation to Latin American conflict.

Description of Initiatives

The MI CASA Research Group is looking for individuals who would like to explore and develop partnership initiatives in several countries in Latin America. We envision this student-led initiative to be in direct relation to ongoing faculty or departmental projects in order to secure the sustainability of the initiatives. Depending on the interest for any specific project, MI CASA members will develop action plans to guide the work throughout the year.

Colombia Map


Afro-Colombian communities of the municipality of Jamundi, located south of the city of Cali, Colombia, have expressed their willingness to collaborate with MI CASA Research Group in developing learning and training opportunities within the areas of peace building and conflict resolution. We also anticipate collaborating in grant writing to fund these initiatives.

Our Partner

In Colombia, our partner is FUNECOROBLES foundation, a non-profit Afro-Colombian grassroots environmental NGO. FUNECOROBLES' mission links the goals of biodiversity conservation with the empowerment of local communities through participatory planning.

Colombia Resource Map

Participants from Robles community drawing
a resource map to identify existing conflicts.

Robles Dance Group

Robles Dance Group performs
during celebrations of Peace Day.

Ecuador Map


CAHSS signed a memorandum of understanding, MOU, with ESPOL (Escuela Superior Politecnica del Litoral ) in 2010. Under this MOU, ESPOL has acted as our host during two Global Courses, one in 2010 and the other in 2012. During these two visits we had the opportunity to learn from many experiences that have the potential to develop into exiting projects.

Potential Project

The Ser Paz project in Guayaquil, Ecuador represents a potential partnership. Ser Paz is a non-violent youth movement initiated by youth worker, Nelsa Curbelo that brings together street gangs to provide services to the struggling community. Gang members band together out of a need for unity, structure, and love when their social fabric has been torn apart. MI CASA Research Group would like to explore mutual interest for collaboration with this organization.

Ecuador Global Course 2010 Students

Students from Global Course 2010,
Dr. Bastidas and members of Ser Paz


Grant writing, development of Training Materials, Practicum sites, and Dissertation Topics.

Peru Map


Under the Leadership of Aldo Parodi, MI CASA is exploring opportunities to collaborate with the government of Peru and Universidad del Pacifico. At this stage, we are beginning the dialog and opening channels of communication. We envision opportunities for training, consultancies, and developing formal executive programs with Universidad del Pacifico.

Machu Pichoo   Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu

Suriname Map

DCAR is currently collaborating with the Government of Suriname under the project, Needs Assessment and Capacity Building in Conflict Resolution. The objective of the project is to provide training in mediation, negotiation, and conflict resolution skills to government officials, Indigenous Peoples, and Maroons in the areas of mining and land rights.


This initiative started with an interdisciplinary Global Course in 2011, where 14 DCAR students traveled to Suriname and for eleven intense days, and experienced the historical, ecological, and cultural diversity of this beautiful country while learning about environmental conflict. At the end of the trip, students developed and presented a CR workshop targeted to government officials, NGO practitioners and faculty. The success of this training initiated this partnership.

Who is involved in this initiative?

Leading this Project is Dr. Bastidas, who is the PI of the Program. Dr. Toran Hansen is participating as one of our lead CR trainers. Ph.D. candidate, Gwendolyn Smith has been a key supporter and liaison between Nova and the Government of Suriname for this project. Several alumni and students have been involved in practicum opportunities and training efforts. We would like to invite you to become part of this experience.

Suriname DCAR Students 2011

DCAR students GC Suriname 2011

Suriname April 2012

Drs. Bastidas and Hansen participating in a
Training Session for Indigenous Peoples and
Maroons in Suriname, 4/12


Grant writing, development of Training Materials, Practicum sites, and Dissertation Topics.

Venezuela Map

Venezuelan Elections

A group led by Venezuelan students from the Department of Conflict Analysis and Resolution (DCAR) at CAHSS is organized to participate in the upcoming Venezuelan Elections, Sunday, October 7 in New Orleans. This election is of critical importance for Venezuela and the rest of Latin America.

Venezuelan Elections

President Chavez (left) and
presidential candidate Henrique Capriles

As conflict resolution practitioners, members of the MI CASA Research Group would like to support the process of observing, documenting and providing information about this democratic process to the NSU community.

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