DALE Nicaragua practices have resumed.
On August 29, DALE Nicaragua held its first regular interscholastic practice of the school year. It took place in the American Nicaraguan School, and was from 3 to 5 pm.
The turnout for this practice was fantastic. More than 130 students from more than six schools came to the practice, all filled with incredible energy and passion. All of the classrooms in the first floor of the high school building were filled to the brim, causing the student organizers to believe that for the next practice additional rooms will have to be made available.
Regina Franco, a senior at ANS and co-chair of the United Nations Security Council, an English general committee, remarked that she was impressed by the incredible atmosphere of the practice.
“I would say that this was one of the most engaging and upbeat practices so far,” she stated. “The room was full of delegates, including those who were new to DALE, who were invested in the process and learning. It was very exciting to see everyone show up and participate with such enthusiasm!”
Carlota Navarrete, a junior at ANS and co-chair of the Cabinet of Isabel de Perón, a Spanish cabinet/crisis committee, also commented on how she has thoroughly enjoyed seeing the dynamism of DALE.
“The energy in the practices never fails to impress me,” Navarrete said. “I love how delegates at first may be scared to talk in front of others, but for example, in my committee, after we explain how cabinet works — they come alive. Last practice we had over fifteen crisis notes! It’s one of my favorite things in this world to see the spark in delegates’ eyes when their switch for debate is finally turned on.”
DALE Nicaragua is a student-led organization which seeks to foster leadership, democracy and dialogue for Latin-American youth by holding annual debate conferences. This year’s seventh conference will be held in the Hotel Camino Real from October 11 to 12.
Though DALE Nicaragua held several practices during summer, the August 29 practice marks the return of practices following the regular schedule.
Delegates could practice as diplomats in general style committees, politicians in cabinet style committees and agents in court style committees. They could also practice as journalists and reporters for media outlets and newspapers in Press Corps, a bilingual committee which has already been closed due to it reaching maximum capacity.
The two topics that general committees could vote to debate on were topic A: establishing a maximum voting age for citizens in Latin America, and topic B: government efforts to combat the trafficking, abuse and murder of women in Latin America. Though both topics were fascinating to the delegates, most of the committees chose the second topic to discuss.
The cabinet that was simulated in the cabinet committees was the Cabinet of Mauricio Funes (2009-2012). Funes was the president of El Salvador from 2009 to 2014. However, in 2016, he was accused of laundering more than $700,000. He is currently exiled and residing in Nicaragua.
The case disputed in the court committees was that of the Pueblo Indígena Xucuru y sus miembros v. Brasil, a real case which had been taken to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in 2016.
Overall, the atmosphere in the practice was warm and lively, and in the practice’s feedback sessions, the delegates stated that they thoroughly enjoyed the experience and liked having the opportunity to further develop their skills in preparation for the conference.
When questioned, delegates also stated that being in DALE Nicaragua has been an empowering experience for them, allowing them to find a reinvigorating medium for expression. This sentiment was also shared by current staff members of DALE, many of them ANS students and former delegates themselves.
“Debate changed my life. Thanks to DALE I have become a better student and a well-rounded human being. It has shaped me into the person I have become today,” Navarrete stated. “DALE teaches us about real world problems. Many delegates have told me in private how even just in the practices they have learned so much about the real world. I highly encourage everyone, even if it is just to see — because eventually you’ll want to join in — to come to one DALE practice: it will change your life.”
The next DALE practice will be on September 11, and will also be held at the American Nicaraguan School from 3 to 5 pm. Make sure to be present and to register to participate in the conference if you have yet to do so.
You can register and find more information about DALE Nicaragua here: https://www.dale-nicaragua.com/.