The Nicaragua Photo/Testimony Project
Paul Dix and Pam Fitzpatrick
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Letters from Nicaragua
The letters below were written by Pam Fitzpatrick and Paul Dix during the first two (of four) journeys they took to Nicaragua to locate people who were the subjects of photos taken by Paul in the 1980s (during the U.S.-sponsored Contra War).

Pam and Paul's goal was to document and share with the people of the U.S.--through photographs and testimonies in Nicaraguans' own voices--the horrific long-term effects of the Contra War and ongoing U.S. and international policy on the lives of ordinary Nicaraguans. After additional trips to Nicaragua in 2009 and 2010, they completed and published their book of photographs and testimonies, NICARAGUA: Surviving the Legacy of U.S. Policy, in 2011. This beautiful, 220-page book can be ordered from this website.

Juana Maria sorting coffeeThese letters offer a behind-the-scenes glimpse of some of what went into the making of the book--the detective work to locate the people they were looking for, and the difficult travel and living conditions. The letters are also chock-full of interesting information and commentary about Nicaragua during the Sandinista revolution, the Contra War years, and since. The 2004-5 letters also include some of Pam's (casual) photos of people and places along their way.  There are many touching moments and stories--the reunions with old friends and acquaintances, and the heartbreaking stories of people maimed by war, and facing dire poverty and the most difficult of living situations. There are also countless amazing and heart-warming stories where the spirit of the Nicaraguan people shines through.  As Pam said in one letter, "We continue to sit with heroes."   

2005 Letters

  • June 10th (Bluefields, Kukra Hill, Orinoco, Pearl Lagoon, Managua)
  • May 1st (Managua, Los Laureles, La Esperanza)
  • April 13th (Yali, CAFTA)
  • March 15th (Managua, Rio Blanco, Bocano de Paiwas)
  • February 17th (Rio Coco, Pankawas, Rio Bocay, Miskitu and Mayangna indigenous peoples)
  • January 26th (Ayapal, El Cua, San Jose de Bocay, La Dalia)
  • January 8th (Solentiname Islands, Juigalpa, Lagartillo, Las Lajas, Venecia, Condega)

2004 Letters

  • December 14th (Estelí, Jinotega, Matagalpa, Managua)
  • November 27th (Somotillo, Chinandega, Managua)
  • November 13th (Boaco, and Action Needed on CAFTA - Central America Free Trade Agreement)
  • November 3rd (Managua, Esteli, Lagartillo, Nicaraguan Economy, U.S. Election)

2003 Letters

  • April 7th (Managua, La Chureca dump)
  • March 8th (Jinotega, Jose)
  • March 1st (Quilali, El Cua, San Jose de Bocay )
  • February 27th (Guasimo-Jinotega, Somotillo, Pajuil, Santo Tomas del Norte, Chinandega, Barrio Milagro de Dios-Managua)
  • January 28th (Vacation at Ometepe, Lake Nicaragua, Finca Magdalena)
  • January 6th (Bocana de Paiwas, Rio Blanco)

2002 Letters

Questions or comments about this page? Send email to briley [at]  Last update: May 11, 2011.