Founded in 2007, MANOS is an organization of undergraduate William & Mary students from diverse academic and personal backgrounds working with the community of Chaguite, located in northern Nicaragua.

We take a multi-faceted approach to international development, using ethnographic data to address community-identified health issues.

We believe that understanding the community using sociology and public health research methods is the best way to reach the goal of improved community health.

We see the community as partners in research rather than subjects of research.

Sustainable community development is the ultimate goal of MANOS, but we acknowledge that this involves encouraging empowerment of our partner community to be agents of their own development.


MANOS Structure on Campus

To expand our knowledge of sociological theory and research skills, MANOS members are required to enroll in our joint seminar with the SOMOS team.

Seminar: 300 level course offered both in the Spring and Fall semesters for a total of four credit hours.

  • Class time: Determined every semester by the members. Weekly time commitment (2 hours)
  • Business Meeting: Collective meeting time. Weekly time commitment (2 hours)

Additional Research and Time Commitments:

  • All MANOS members are required to participate in a data group and a logistical group.
    • Data Groups: Weekly Time Commitment (1 hour)

      • Social Network Analysis (SNA)- Is in the process of operationalizing solidarity and collective capacity in an effort to measure the effectiveness of community-organizing activities.
      • Data, Task, Resource, Activities (DTRA)- Is in the process of developing a coding scheme to determine the levels of organization in the community and how they’ve changed over time.
      • Geographic Information System (GIS)- Maps the community.
    • Logistical Groups:  Weekly Time Commitment (1 hour)

      • Team Development- Handles on-campus logistical and planning material such as new member recruitment, website development, social event planning.
      • External Relations- Pursues different funding opportunities through grant writing and keeps in contact with our alumni through our newsletter.
      • Community Based Participatory Research (CBPR)- Conducts background research on current projects that MANOS is working to implement in the community.