Lillian Hall has a message for Americans concerned about a GOP war on women: Come to Nicaragua and see what it's like to live in a very religious and machismo land, which also happens to be the second-poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.
Hall is originally from Tucson, Arizona. She moved to Nicaragua in 1984 and thought she'd experience for a couple of years what it would be like to live in a country trying to build a new society, five years after the Somozo dictatorship was dethroned by the Sandanistas. She's been there for 28 years and counting, with no intention of moving back to the States.
Hall is with >ProNica, a small Quaker non-profit based in St. Petersburg that has been working in Nicaragua with grass-roots groups for the past 25 years on health, education and children's issues, as well as educating U.S. citizens about the relationship between the two nations.
Hall returns to the U.S. every year to give speeches and raise money and awareness for ProNica. She's been in the Tampa Bay area for the past week, joined by Maria Elena Bonilla, who works at the Acahual Women's Center based in the Nicaraguan capital of Managua.