After several meetings and exhibitions of motifs, in September 1994, it was decided that the headquarters of the Las Minas University Campus, should be established in the municipality of Siuna, which provided the necessary conditions. They participated in these meetings: by Bonanza, José Antonio Mairena Malespín and Eugenio Pao; by Rosita, Professor Fernando Espinoza (Q.E.P.D) and by Siuna, Oscar Ríos Palacios and Beanira Aguero.
The reasoning for choosing Siuna was that the municipality, in addition to being geographically the gateway to the North Atlantic Autonomous Region, had better socioeconomic conditions such as the following: greater student population suitable for higher education, greater economic activity, presence of government and non-governmental agencies and more schools.
The initial idea of the Pro-URACAN Association was to offer careers according to the geological conditions of the subregion, which has poly-metallic deposits. Based on this, it was thought to develop the careers of Geology and Mine Engineering. The idea was subsequently reconsidered taking into account the conditions of remoteness, absence of literature, laboratories and specialists in these areas.
The procedure for determining the academic offer was defined based on the potential of Natural Resources of the Region, there was no feasibility study. This was the logic for sociology careers with mention in Autonomy, Agroforestry Engineering and Business Administration with mention in Natural Resources, and was determined by the need for indigenous personnel trained to promote the Autonomy process in conjunction with the population of the Regions, personnel identified with the idiosyncrasies of indigenous peoples and the reality of the Region , administrators who assume the planning and management of the use of Natural Resources in a rational and sustained way.
At the end of 1994, Rector Mirna Cunningham, Academic Secretary Amanda Puhiera, the Vice-Chancellors of the venues and a technical team from the two regions met in Puerto Cabezas to develop the first proposal of the pensum of each of the races. Vice-Chancellor Manuel Marín and Ing. Mario Ríos took part in the Las Minas compound. Subsequently the proposal was reviewed by an academic team of the National Agrarian University (UNA) and the National Autonomous University of Nicaragua (UNAN-Managua).
The Vice-Chancellor, Ing. Manuel Marín, was appointed by the Pro-URACCAN Association to coordinate the implementation of the work plan, developed and managed by the liaison office in Managua. Each year Rector Cunningham and Academic Secretary Puhiera visited the compound to publicize each official's plan and responsibilities. Similarly, financial management was in charge of the liaison office in Managua.
The early years
In November 1994, the 'Support Committee' managed before The Parish priest Wilberto Lancer, the two-year loan from some classrooms at Maura Clarke Parish College, to begin academic activities at Siuna headquarters. As part of the loan agreements, the parish institute was repaired with the support of OED-Austria.
In January 1995, 152 students were officially enroled in Agroforestry Engineering, Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration with mention in Natural Resources and Bachelor of Sociology with mention in Autonomy. In March of that year academic activities began with the year of general studies.
Classes were taught at two times: from 7:30 a.m to 12:30 p.m., for students from the municipalities of Bonanza, Rosita and Siuna, mostly favored by the OED-funded Scholarship Program; and from 5:00 p.m: to 9:00 p.m. for working students distributed in two groups. The staff consisted of 5 teachers and 4 people in the administrative area.
At the organization stage of the Campus, Rector Dr. Mirna Cunningham met three times with the 'Support Committee' to establish internal and external coordinations, secure funding for scholarships and improve the place where the University would operate. One of the meetings reports funding from OED that included: building repair, teacher payroll, operating expenses, and a scholarship program for low-income students from neighboring municipalities. In addition, the modality of the classes was decided, which was in two semesters from March to June and from August to November.
The faculty was made up of indigenous professionals from the municipality, among them: Brunilda Campos, Beanira Aguero, Mario Ríos, Carlos Madrigal and Hayde Wilson, who were selected by the 'Support Committee' because they met the established requirements: to be indigenous to the Region, to have a professional degree, identified with the reality of the Region and a willingness to work with the minimum conditions.
The administrative staff was four people: Vice-Chancellor Manuel Marín, who also taught a subject; Blanca Centeno, Secretary, who kept an academic record; Carlos Blandón a security guard, and Sonia Salmerón, in charge of cleaning. As for the technology it was reduced to an efficient typewriter with its classic roller or plate located in a cart that goes from right to left as you run the keyboard and its inevitable complement: a mimeographer. Among these, paper resmas and ink tubes, Ms. Sonia Salmerón reproduced the teaching support documents used by teachers and students. Doña Sonia, who was conveniently trained and became an expert, also supported teachers from other study centers, as URACCAN had the only existing mimeographer in the Las Minas Triangle, which was so good that it is still kept in perfect condition.
But as times change, time came in 1996, when the novelty in the municipality of Siuna was URACCAN's acquisition of a computer with the Word Perfect 5.1 program and a matrix printer of those who use tape to print. An exclusive place was assigned to the computer where Leonor Ruiz, then in charge of Academic Registration, had the privilege of working with her, while others watched her in amazeed from afar, as when in One Hundred Years of Solitude, the prestidigitator takes the first magnifying glass to Macondo. To all this state-of-the-art technology was added an acetate projector that served to support learning.
In the academic year 1996 the Las Minas Campus substantially increased its academic activities compared to its first year. The academic year begins with two new groups for the year of general studies and also opens the Chair of Gender with 31participants. Six new teachers are hired in the same time modality: Mercedes Godoy, Juliana Francis, Wilfredo Romero, Guillermina Solórzano (Mexican), Martín Erants (indigenous Mayangna), Veronica Valdivia and Arsenio Montalván, forming a faculty of eleven professors.
The activities were oriented to the student population in regular courses, enabling the continuity of the training program of professionals indigenous to the region and expanding it to all socioeconomic sectors with the continuing education program.
The continuing education program held a seminar on small mining in Bonanza, and another on Peace Culture in Siuna. The Basic Accounting program in Rosita was completed. The diploma in Community Health oriented to health workers (auxiliaries of health posts), funded by three institutions: Doctors of the World, MINSA and URACCAN, begins in Siuna.
The Diploma in Mayangna Indigenous Law in Bonanza, aimed at leaders of the Musawás communities, continued. The second Gender Chair is inaugurated oriented to the women's movements of the three municipalities, to staff of institutions, to students and teachers of URACCAN.
The Basic Accounting program offered in four meetings was concluded in Rosita. This training began 23 people among small traders, loggers and people working in accounting, in the end 44 people concluded which means that there was progressive interest in this course.
In the second semester, the expansion of the Continuing Education offer is planned and the opening of basic accounting courses and the Senior Technician in Bilingual Intercultural Education is approved.
The acquisition of an area of 11.7 hectares for the final establishment of the Campus is also formalized through efforts carried out by the 'Support Committee' that culminated in the donation of the land by Mr. Freddy Figueroa, originally from Boaco.
Once the land is obtained, funds are obtained from SAIH-Norway for the construction of the first building that is currently where the Library operates. In the same year we worked on the first proposal for the creation of the Institute of Natural Resources, Environment and Sustainable Development (IREMADES).