We are aware of recent events in Nicaragua and in particular receive information from our twin town in Estelí. We deplore the shocking events and the use of violence, which have seen protesting students shot dead in the streets of Estelí and other cities. They were protesting peacefully about the proposed introduction to cuts in social security for older people and the disabled, many of whom fought for the revolution and the Sandinista movement in the 1980s. Some say that Nicaragua is moving away from democracy, disregarding the wishes of many people and censoring the media. The Nicaraguans who have made contact with the people of Sheffield have asked first and foremost that their voices be heard, and that their struggle for democracy be recognised. We welcome the retracting of the social security reforms and the introduction of a national dialogue. We condemn the use of violence against peaceful protestors and ask that the mediators, as has been promised , are allowed to do their work peacefully and with cooperation from the government .
We are thrilled to invite you to join us for a unique opportunity at this year’s Off the Shelf literary festival in Sheffield.
Come to meet the author of Rosa of the Wild Grass, Fiona Mackintosh, on Tues 24th October at 6:30pm
Blackwells Bookshop, Jessop West, 1 Upper Hanover Street, S3 7RA
Fiona Mackintosh arrived in Nicaragua in 1981, found a country in ruins and met print shop worker Rosa. Over 28 years, Fiona recorded Rosa and her family to capture the intimacy of their daily lives and tell the story of a Nicaraguan Family’s journey since the Revolution of the late 1970s.
Noam Chomsky “in this book we experience in intimate detail the dramatic years of Nicaragua’s triumphs and travail: the courageous struggle for freedom, the solidarity and idealism, the achievements and excitement , the escape from suffering , the cruel assault from abroad, defeat and betrayal, and still life goes on”
Julie Christie, Actress .‘This is a moving description of a Latin American country’s struggle to free itself from crushing poverty and oppression. Told in the words of the people who have lived this history .Nicaraguans retain the spirit of what the revolution taught them, despite their continuing battle for survival
No need to book. ( Fringe Festival Event )
It’s time for us to start thinking about our next visit to Estelí and we would like to hear from people who would be interested in joining us. In 2018 we will be organising a delegation of people from our wonderful city of Sheffield to visit our colleagues and friends in Estelí and share some life changing experiences whilst learning more about each others’ culture, communities and history. People who took part in the 2014 delegation reflected that it was an eye-opening and incredibly positive experience. They had the opportunity to spend time with families and professionals from a completely different culture to their own, but with whom they found they also had a lot in common!
The itinerary of the 2018 delegation will be shaped by the participants and our partners in Estelí, but will involve chances to meet people working in fields of interest to you, experiences of life in the town as well as in the rural communities in nearby nature reserves and a chance to learn more about the history of our twin town with local guides. As well as taking part in project visits, experience sharing and group activities there will be opportunities to explore more widely within Nicaragua and enjoy some free time to pursue your own interests.
To register your interest in the 2018 Sheffield to Estelí Delegation get in touch through our Contact Page.
Earlier this year we were successful in securing a small funding grant from the Sheffield Town Trust. This, added to a grant awarded us last year by the Evan Cornish Foundation has meant that we are finally able to put The Elder Twins Project into action. This project is all about connecting people with the twinning who may not have access to communicating with people in our twin town in other ways, such as travelling, emailing or attending public events. It is also about valuing the immense wealth of experience possessed by the elder residents of both of our cities.
So, in order to discover these memories and tell the stories of some of the more isolated members of our communities we are matching a small team of young investigators to a group of elderly residents of a care home in Sheffield for them to take part in a set of storytelling and collecting sessions together. At the same time as we carry out this investigation in Sheffield, a group of colleagues in Estelí will be doing the same thing. When we have collected these, what we expect to be incredible, stories they will be redacted with the help of volunteers and exchanged between the cities. Then they will be translated and taken back to the care homes and residences to be told to the elderly participants by the young investigative team. In this way we will enable a bridge, a personal connection to be made between Jose in Estelí and Joe in Sheffield, between Mary in Sheffield and Maria in Estelí.
The final collected stories will be published in a small, bilingual book for participants to keep and to add to the oral history resources of both cities as a celebration of more than 30 years of a very special twinning. The final planning is underway to initiate the project in June. If you are interested in getting involved please get in touch with us through our Contact Us page.