Each year we look forward to welcoming more intrepid riders and walkers to help us raise funds for the environmental, social and human rights projects that we support in Nicaragua.
For the last two years we had to suspend our bike ride due to Covid, but this year on Sunday 22nd May we are delighted to be planning not only our 20 and 50 mile rides, but also a Friendship Walk of around 4 miles for those who fancy a gentler fundraiser!
The current situation in the world might have stopped us from organising our annual bike ride but we weren’t going to give up celebrating 34 beautiful years of twinning between Sheffield and Estelí. Together with the students of the University of Sheffield we created this open Challenge that everyone could take part in and join us in our celebration. The Challenge consisted of performing a chosen activity 34 times. We would like to thank each and every one of you that decided to participate in some way and those who shared their pictures and experiences with us! There were some wonderful challenges during those 5 weeks, including sun salutations, stone sculptures on beach days, making a mega batch of 34 tortillas and some brilliant gardening skills. We had people involved from Sheffield, Derbyshire, Oxford and Estelí! We loved hearing about your challenges, loved seeing pictures of your dogs and their 34 Challenge certificates (very well deserved, great job!)
The Sheffield Telegraph ran a story on the challenge and our wonderful friends at TwinCafé also supported the event, running a promotion for people buying their coffee throughout the period and donating 10% of sales to our campaign. You can try their delicious wares by ordering here!
Thank you for sharing news of your challenges and beautiful pictures of places you walked, cycled or ran through. All are shared on our Facebook page here. It’s also a great place to check on the latest news.
We are delighted to report that we smashed our target of raising £1000 and our final total was £1424!
Below are a few images from the challenges people undertook to help us raise funds.
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.
In May 2016 we were approached by Sarah Grearson, a student at Sheffield University languages department to see if we would like to collaborate with her on her Masters dissertation in translation. Sarah’s proposal was to write a blog focused on two projects we currently support, whose co-ordinators have also visited Sheffield. She interviewed both about their experiences as community activists in Estelí via Skype and wrote a blog about their lives to share with people in both cities in Spanish and in English. We were really pleased with her work, to read it for yourself follow this link:
We were delighted to work with Iniciativa Colibrí in Estelí and Handsworth Grange Community Sports College in Sheffield to produce the final publication. The Mayor of Sheffield received all of the Sheffield authors and subjects of the book at an evening reception in the Town Hall and presented them with their own copies. Meanwhile, a parallel event was held in Estelí and community members were invited to hear the stories being read and meet the people featured.
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.
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.