*Dr. Jorge Huete, vice-rector general of the UCA, received the medal on behalf of the UCA. A month and a half later, after leaving for a scientific event in Argentina, Dr. Huete was banned and prevented from returning to the country.
The Association of Jesuit Universities in Latin America wishes to nominate for the St. Peter Canisius Medal the Universidad Centroamericana, UCA, Nicaragua. This University was founded on July 23, 1960 as the first private university in Central America. Entrusted to the Society of Jesus and inspired by Ignatian spirituality and pedagogy, it is one of the most prestigious institutions of higher education in Nicaragua and the Central American region for guaranteeing a formation of excellence based on academic rigor, current and interdisciplinary research of the highest level, and for projecting itself socially from its centers and institutes through programs and projects of social impact.
In its more than 60 year history, the UCA has educated many generations of young Nicaraguans in truth, justice and peace, encouraging in its graduates ethical values and genuine commitment to social transformation.
The collaborative work between Jesuits and lay people, based on respect, ethics, professionalism and shared values has allowed the UCA to adapt to the times, transcend its walls and remain for these 60 years as the leading university in Nicaragua. Out of a deep commitment to humanism, UCA serves those most in need, granting scholarships annually to more than 5,000 low-income students.
UCA has strengthened its internationalization strategy by signing agreements with leading institutions such as Seattle University, Fairfield University and Boston College in the USA and the Borja Institute of Bioethics and ESADE Business School, Spain, among others. Based on this collaborative work, UCA carries out its activities from a global and visionary perspective, which is visible in its participation in research networks, conferences and workshops, design and execution of virtual programs, transfer graduate programs, as well as technologies, technological systems, and student exchange and faculty mobility programs.
The community of UCA is comprised of people from different cities and regions of Nicaragua and the world, from various religious creeds and socioeconomic levels, all animated by the commitment to serve others with honesty and competence.
In recent years, in the context of the socio-political crisis affecting the country and directly affecting higher education institutions, the UCA has shown resilience and social commitment, working tirelessly to face the difficulties, restructuring administratively and reformulating its academic work to ensure its sustainability without compromising its highquality training and all its activities, consistent with the Mission and Universal Apostolic Priorities of the Society of Jesus. All this effort has generated greater appreciation from the Nicaraguan society and broad sympathy and international solidarity.
Because this academic institution has stood for being a pioneer in the creation of policies and programs that focus on issues that other universities have shied away from, and because of UCA’s commitment to the flourishing of every human being, to human and cultural diversity, and to the care of "the common home", AUSJAL wishes to express its appreciation for the leadership of UCA and the faculty who have committed themselves to this important Jesuit institution. AUSJAL and IAJU wish to recognize the entire university and its leadership with the St. Peter Canisius Award for outstanding contributions to Jesuit Higher Education worldwide.
Due to the difficult situation that Nicaragua is currently going through, we ask all member institutions of IAJU and AUSJAL to collaborate with their academic work and integral formation following the Jesuit work of being academically and apostolically in solidarity with them.