In February the Sheffield Estelí Society was proud to welcome the Nicaraguan Ambassador to the UK, Guisell Morales-Echaverry, to Sheffield to take part in a tree planting commemorating 30 years of our twinning relationship with Estelí. Together with the Lord Mayor Councillor Peter Rippon they both helped to shovel earth over the roots of a beautiful Liquidambar tree on the slopes of South Street Park, overlooking the city, just above the train station where hundreds of travellers arrive in Sheffield every day. Guisell said “Friendship among countries and people doesn’t have to stop because there is a sea between the two countries and between people. Friendship and solidarity can flourish whenever there is humanity involved on both sides of the sea.”
Tim Shortland, the Community Forestry Manager at Sheffield City Council was instrumental in enabling this tree planting to take place, supporting us to identify a site, source a tree and dig the hole, together with students from Sheffield College Horticulture Department. He said “As the tree develops it will characterise Sheffield’s living and growing relationship with Estelí. The tree we will be planting is a Liquidambar, also known as a ‘Sweet Gum’ tree. It has corky bark, maple shaped leaves and amazing autumn colour.”
In spite of the high winds we had a bright, sunny morning and the tree was bedded in to some positive words from the Lord Mayor “I mean, you look at what’s happening in different parts of the world and in Europe today. It’s important that we forge links with other countries and have twinnings and friendship”. After a reading of a poem called ‘Verde’ (‘Green’) by the Estelian poet Zikín to close the event the tree planters moved away and left our new tree to send its roots down into the soil and settle into its new home in peace.