The Elder Twins Project

Project Update!

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.

You can now download your own copy of Tales of Two Cities- Cuentos de Dos Pueblos here. If you would like to receive a hard copy get in touch with us and we will see what we can do!

ancianita dance




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.

Esteli tree planting

Tree Planting to Commemorate 30 years of Twinning

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.