A Surprise Award

Twenty-five years ago the University of the Autonomous Regions of the Caribbean Coast of Nicaragua (URACCAN) was established by and for the indigenous peoples of the area who had been deprived of higher education for far too long.

Ten years ago the same university initiated an innovative medical school which combines the medical practices of the local people with modern medicine. The InterculturMedicProgram opened in 2009.

 During October of 2009 URACCAN observed the double anniversary with a gala event.

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When Sister Ann McKean, CSA, PhD established Adelante Mujer in 2009 she chose URACCAN University as a partner. The vision and mission of the two entities were similar: to provide higher education for the indigenous people, the poor, and women in northeast Nicaragua. 

For ten years URACCAN and Adelante Mujer have developed and valued their relationship. During each semester visit to Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua, Sister Diane Bauknecht, CSA, Executive Director, and two members of the Adelante Mujer Board of Directors meet with administrators of the university and with the Dean of the Medical School. 

In December of 2019 the semester visit began with the usual business and sharing of ideas for the future. At the conclusion of the meeting Ms. Ivonne McLean announced, “We have a gift for Adelante Mujer,” and formally presented Sister Diane with a beautifully inscribed wooden plaque. With humble pride and deep joy we share this news with you, our friends and donors, who make the vision and mission an award-worthy endeavor. 



Gives the present recognition to


For the unconditional support provided to students in

the Intercultural Medicine Career of URACCAN

Given in the city of Bilwi, Puerto Cabezas, Autonomous Region of the

Nicaraguan Caribbean Coast, October 28, 2019 

Weaving the Path of Intercultural Medicine

 Alta Suzzane Hooker Blandford President, URACCAN 

Esther Hicks, Board President

Sister Diane, Executive Director

Ivonne McLean, URACCAN Academic Secretary

Dr. Ivania Lopez, Dean of the Medical School

Mary Gorske, Board Secretary


Sister Diane ~ January 2020


Grateful – part 1

We hear how thankful the students are, but you don’t have the same opportunity. You deserve to receive the gratitude since the support is coming directly from you, the donors. Below are some comments from the most recent applicants who have been accepted into the program. The thoughts are from the heart, the translation from Google.  Continue reading “Grateful – part 1”

In Case You’re Wondering

When people donate they usually want to know two things: Is my money going to the cause I want to support and do recipients appreciate what I give?

The reply to the first concern is a definite “Yes, every penny of every donation is used to help young women in Nicaragua who are studying to be medical doctors. Every penny.” Continue reading “In Case You’re Wondering”

Dr Sayonara


*A note written in September 2017 by Sayonara in her academic year 5. Translated by Google

Hello Sister Ann,

I hope you are well, I am very pleased to greet you. I send greetings and thanks to all of our donors who make it possible for us scholars to continue studying and continue to help needy women. Continue reading “Sayonara”

maternity ward

The Maternity Ward

When we travel to Bilwi, Puerto Cabezas, we regularly visit the local hospital to check on our students and some of our graduates who are now practicing doctors. My first visit was in 2016 and I was shocked to see the conditions (see the Jan. 2017 blog ‘My First Trip: Bilwi, Puerto Cabezas).

Continue reading “The Maternity Ward”


It has been just over one year since I made my first visit to Bilwi, Nicaragua. Since then the students I met, especially the new applicants, have been on my mind. They are hard to forget.

Continue reading “Escarleth”


Feliz Navidad – Merry Christmas – Krismis Yamni

As I sit here in the Managua Airport awaiting my flight from the balmy tropics of Nicaragua to the freezing blasts of another Wisconsin winter, I have time to reflect on our recent interviews with our current students from medical school in Puerto Cabezas as well as the candidates, young women who, despite living in one of the most impoverished regions in the world, refuse to give up on their dream of bringing medical help to those who, like themselves, have had to survive with little or nothing.

Continue reading “Feliz Navidad – Merry Christmas – Krismis Yamni”


Ten New Students Accepted

Sister Diane made the semi-annual trip to Puerto Cabezas/Bilwi in early May 2017. The schedule is always full on these visits, beginning at 9:00 a.m. and often not ending until 8:00 p.m. While there she meets with our contacts at the university and visits the hospital where she often runs into our graduates. She meets with our local administrator and handles our banking needs. The most important meetings though are those with our current students and the interviews with new applicants.

Continue reading “Ten New Students Accepted”


Adelante Mujer ~ International Headquarters

Tucked away on the third floor of the Sisters of Saint Agnes Nazareth Center & Court in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin U.S.A. is a tiny room no larger than 8’ x 10’. It contains a desk with a laptop computer, a printer, and a recently purchased chair for Sister Ann, one which she is able to get in and out of by herself.  Her walker is always nearby.  Next to this desk is a built-in closet.  Opposite that desk is a small table and another chair for one more person to work.  There’s little room to walk between them.  A window looks into the hallway.  The desk and walls are decorated with  photos of current and previous students, a clock, and a crucifix.

Continue reading “Adelante Mujer ~ International Headquarters”