Sr. Damon Nolan Memorial Fund Established to Honor UAC-CP Founder

Sister Damon Nolan

Sister Damon Nolan, founder and first director of the College in Carmen Pampa, Bolivia, passed away on Saturday, June 5, 2021, in Boston, Massachusetts.  A true visionary, Sister Damon not only dared to dream of building a college in the rugged and underdeveloped Cordillera Mountain range of Bolivia, she made it happen.

To recognize her lifelong commitment to education and social justice, the Sister Damon Nolan Memorial Fund has been established to support the College in Carmen Pampa, Bolivia. Contributions can be sent to Carmen Pampa Fund’s St. Paul office or made online.

Planning for the UAC-CP began in 1990 when Sister Damon, a 12-year veteran educator in the Yungas region and director of the K-12 school in Carmen Pampa, concluded that a high school education was not adequate to give the rural poor control over their own destiny. With support of the local community and the Sub-Central Villa Nilo (a local governing body of the Indigenous Aymarans), Sister Damon petitioned support from the Diocese of Coroico and the Missionary Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Conception and convinced the Catholic University of Bolivia to provide academic accreditation for a university in Carmen Pampa. The founding groups were united over their concern to provide young, impoverished Bolivians with the opportunity to get their college education. Building a college, they agreed, would be a way to dismantle educational barriers and lift people out of poverty.

In 1992 — just 40 years after the local indigenous population was granted the right to be educated at an elementary level and about 10 years after Sister Damon insisted on girls being admitted to the local high school — an agreement was signed with the local Aymaran farmers’ organization to build the College. Some farmers, unable to spell their own names, signed the pact with a thumbprint.

When the Unidad Académica Campesina — Carmen Pampa first opened with Sister Damon as director, 54 students registered for classes at the technical level to study Agronomy.  Today, nearly 30 years later, the UAC-CP educates approximately 700 young Bolivians each year and offers six different academic programs: Agronomy, Nursing, Veterinary Science, Education, Ecotourism, and Accounting. All areas of study were chosen because they respond to the demands of the rural population and growing economy, as well as help to prepare young Bolivians to serve as leaders and agents of change for their families, communities, and country.

To learn more about Sister Damon’s work and legacy in Bolivia, please visit our website. Her obituary can be viewed online at the Dolan Funeral Home site.

Posted in
Please enter your name.
Please enter a valid email address.
Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again.

© 2020 Carmen Pampa Fund. All rights reserved. | P.O. Box 131145 St. Paul, MN 55113 | Phone: (651) 641-1588 |