Sheffield, the city of the seven hills (more like seventy), the five rivers, the most trees per person in the whole of europe and Henderson’s relish. Sheffield is a city with a long and proud history of social action, open mindedness and solidarity with other cities and countries and a rich seam of creative energy. With the biggest national park in the UK, the Peak District, on its doorstep it is also a well known base for cyclists, climbers and others with a taste for the outdoors. The city was born of industry and made famous for its steel production but suffered during the 70s and 80s when local mines, steelworks and related industries were changed through machinisation or closed down completely. In the 1980's it was nicknamed The Socialist Republic of South Yorkshire. Sheffield is a strong and resilient place and was reborn in spite of everything with two dynamic and highly thought of universities, a revived cultural and industrial output and a continued fame for welcoming and hospitable people. It is a city with great human warmth and an exciting, diverse place to live.
Esteli, a city of murals, mazurkas and mariachis, rodeos, rancheras and rum, cowboys, coffee and co-operatives. Esteli is the capital of the state of the same name in the north of Nicaragua, on the pan-american highway, the arterial road route that connects the continents of North and South America. It is the cigar production centre of Nicaragua as well as one of the main coffee producing regions and is flanked by the beautiful nature reserves of Miraflor and El Tisey rising into cloud forests which are home to wide varieties of orchids, rare birds such as the resplendent quetzal and troupes of noisy howler monkeys. Esteli and the countryside surrounding was one of the regions of Nicaragua to suffer the most violence during the revolution of the late 1970s and afterwards in the long and bitter contra war of the 1980s. Now the city has strong youth movements and a wide variety of organisations working hard to rebuild and strengthen communities and the structures which have enabled the country to establish a peaceful democracy.
What we do
Sheffield has been twinned with Esteli since 1984. The Sheffield Esteli Society is part of a network of four European cities also twinned with Esteli which are: Saint Feliu in Catalunia, Delft in Holland and Bielefeld in Germany. We raise money through local events and activities including the annual Two Peaks Bike ride, which raises approximately £1000 each year, and we raise awareness of the twinning and the rich resources for collaboration which exist between our two cities.
We are committed to supporting education projects and in 2003 co-financed the building of Esteli Library with our European and Esteli colleagues and now support the "Libro Volador" with Luz Verde Esteli, a mobile literacy project which takes books and teaching resources to rural areas. We are also passionate about working with young people and youth in creative ways and we support a large scale Youth and Citizenship project managed by Casa del Tercer Mundo in Esteli and collaborating with Funarte, a creative arts and child development organisation based there. In addition we are good friends with "Los Angelitos" and “Sones Segovianos”, two social music projects in Esteli. These music projects offer music education and social development opportunities to children who would normally not be able to access it. In the past we have also supported health projects such as Casa Materna, a clinic which gives healthcare to women before, during and after giving birth particularly to those from rural areas and environmental initiatives, particularly around clean water and reconstruction following Hurricane Mitch.
In addition to collaborating with partners in Esteli we also liaise with Sheffield groups and organisations to strengthen links in our own community. We work closely with students from Sheffield and their project Students for Esteli. The students involved send a group to Esteli each summer on english teaching programmes with their sister University, FAREM Esteli.
Overall our main aim is to promote information sharing and twinning opportunities between Sheffield and Esteli to enable us to learn from one another and share some of the things which make our two cities so special. If you are interested in getting involved please get in touch!
The Sheffield Esteli Society is a group of Sheffield residents who seek to raise awareness of the connections between our city and Esteli in northern Nicaragua. We fundraise for large project collaborations with Esteli such as health care and reconstruction projects and we fundraise for small local initiatives such as community library access and music education in the barrios of Esteli. We also connect people in both cities through creative links between musicians, dancers and artists.