Lecture looks at Central American nations

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What makes one country develop into a democracy and another into a dictatorship is the basis of a Clark College sociology professor Carlos Castro’s upcoming lecture “Borderlines: Political and Economic Differences between Nicaragua and Costa Rica.” Part of the Faculty Speaker Series, this free, public event begins at 4 p.m. Thursday in the Ellis Dunn Community Room in Gaiser Hall, 1933 Fort Vancouver Way.

Costa Rica is one of the richest countries in Central America while its neighbor, Nicaragua, is one of the poorest. Costa Rica has a liberal democratic system, while Nicaragua is more authoritarian. Carlos Castro, professor of sociology, will offer his interpretation of why two neighboring countries with strong cultural similarities can differ so dramatically.

The lecture is in conjunction with Clark’s Celebración de mi Gente. Individuals who need accommodation due to a disability in order to participate should contact Clark College’s Disability Support Services Office at 360-992-2314 or 360-991-0901.

A native of Nicaragua, Castro holds bachelor of arts degrees in sociology and economics; master’s degrees in public affairs and community and regional planning and a doctorate in sociology — all from the University of Oregon. A published poet, essayist and academic, Castro is writing a book comparing and contrasting the development of Nicaragua and Costa Rica.