“TecNica: At Work in Nicaragua”
In 1986 TecNica produced a video documentary about the experience of TecNica volunteers working in Sandinista Nicaragua. Volunteers share their insights and observations on living and working in Nicaragua.
Jeff Hart, the cinematographer, writer, editor, and director, was himself a TecNica Volunteer — the making of this video was his project. He had worked in television for about one year prior to his trip and, although he knew something about the many facets of video production, he had never made a complete film.
This project was his “on the job schooling.” To complete it, he raised the money himself to purchase the necessary professional equipment (well before the days of “Go Fund Me!”)
After five months of shooting, the tape was edited by Nicaraguan editors at the Ministry of Health’s Media Production Center on equipment donated by the country of Denmark. This project was truly an international endeavor!
<We recognize that this copy of the video is not good quality for viewing. Does anyone have a better version? Doesn’t matter what format.>
In approximately the middle of the video, there is a lengthy non-verbal sequence (accompanied by music) showing:
- Casa San Juan, the bed and breakfast residence where most TecNica Volunteers lodged during their trips.
- The overnight weekend trip TecNica arranges to give these hardworking volunteers a weekend in the countryside. During their trip, they see the rural, agricultural, and small farm life of Nicaragua as well as the effects of the Contra war. The fiesta seen during one of these weekend trips is to celebrate Santa Teresa, the patron saint of Diariamba, a small town of 5,000 people, 60 miles southwest of Managua.
- The TecNica staff working in the Managua office to make project placements and confirmations with our host agencies and office. It usually takes between 10-15 minutes to obtain a free line to make a call. You can imagine how frustrating it must have been to hear a busy signal when you finally got through! Often our staff is forced physically to drive or take the bus to agencies’ offices to do this placement work.
Credits and Thanks
Thanks to all who participated in the video, both in appearance and in its production. Here are those whose participation was key to its production. Those who appear in the video happened to be working in Nicaragua at the time and were able to make time to participate.
Jeff Hart: Videographer, Editor, and Director
Barbara Wigginton: Technical Assistant and Interviews
Interviews, in order of appearance:
Mary Engle, Librarian
Simon Kellerman, Programmer
Courbin Houchins, Lawyer
Peter Carleton, Welder
Susan Suchman, Systems Analyst
Stuart Pound, Programmer
Julie Thompson, Engineer
Special Thanks to:
Nicaraguan Ministry of Health
All Nicaraguans Involved
TecNica’s Nicaraguan Advisory Council
November 1985-April 1986 TecNica Delegations
Additional Audio and Video:
Steve Simpson, Statistician
Julius Lugovoy, Chemist
Bob Roberts, Programmer
John Kellog, Electrical Engineer
Steve Chessin, Systems Analyst
Brian O’Hanlon, Technician