Upcoming Events

Reading Discussion Group October 21st – Recent News about the Nicaraguan Canal

canalA discussion of recent news about the proposed controversial Nicaraguan canal connecting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans will be held Wed., Oct. 21, from 12:30 to 1:30 P.M., in the Seminar Room of the Hartford Public Library, 500 Main St. Poverty alleviation, mega-development projects, human rights, environmental and archaeological effects, and indigenous and other community rights will be considered.

Suggested reading for the program can be found HERE

All are welcome at this free reading group program sponsored by the Hartford/Ocotal Sister City Project and the Hartford Public Library as part of the Library’s Bridging Cultures Series. Bring a brown bag lunch if you wish.

Panel Discussion October 22nd – The Nicaraguan Canal Debate: Development, Environment, Rights

canal panel“The Nicaraguan Canal Debate: Development, Environment, Rights,” a panel discussion about the proposed canal  through Nicaragua that would connect the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, will be held at Trinity College, Mather Campus Center Terrace, Rooms A, B, and C, on Thurs., Oct. 22, at 7 P.M. The panel will discuss issues such as mega development projects, economic development, poverty alleviation, environmental impact, community/ indigenous rights, and China’s economic involvement abroad. All are invited to this free event and to the reception following it.  Parking is also free. Closest parking is on Summit St. and in Seabury lots off Summit St. beside the Campus Center. See http://www.trincoll.edu/Academics/centers/teaching/Documents/ Conference%20Location%20and%20Parking%20Map.pdf . For information, contact janet.bauer@trincoll.edu or 860-297-5369.

Join the Hartford/Ocotal Sister City Project and its co-sponsors in a conversation with Katherine Hoyt, Co-Coordinator of the Alliance for Global Justice and its Nicaragua Network program, and with Victor Campos, environmental educator and Deputy Director, Centro Alexander von Humboldt, Managua.

Katherine Hoyt is known as writer of the Nicaragua Network’s weekly Nicaragua News Bulletin. She is National Co-Coordinator of the Alliance for Global Justice and its Nicaragua Network program and lived eighteen years in Latin America – two years in Chile and sixteen in Nicaragua. With a Ph.D. in political science from Rutgers University, she has authored numerous academic and activist publications including The Many Faces of Sandinista Democracy from Ohio University Press. She has taught at Wayne State University, Rutgers University and Whitman College. In the mid-1980s, she served as the Michigan coordinator of the Pledge of Resistance as director of the Michigan Interfaith Committee on Central American Human Rights (MICAH) in Detroit. At the Alliance for Global Justice, she has worked on campaigns to support Nicaragua’s garment workers and on campaigns against IMF-mandated privatization and user fees. In the 2000s, she actively represented the Nicaragua Network in the Stop CAFTA Coalition.

Victor Campos’s role as an environmental advocate in the canal project debate has been widely recognized. He is an engineer, environmental educator, and Deputy Director of the Centro Alexander von Humboldt, an environmental center in Managua.

Co-sponsors of the panel discussion in addition to the Hartford/Ocotal Sister City Project include Trinity College Center for Urban and Global Studies, University of Connecticut Human Rights Institute, Trinity College Department of History, Trinity College International Studies/Caribbean and Latin American Studies, Trinity College Department of Language and Cultural Studies, Trinity College Department of Political Science, Trinity College Anthropology Department, Trinity College Environmental Science Program, Central Connecticut State University Department of Anthropology, Trinity College Public Policy  and Law Program, the Mark Twain House and Museum, the World Affairs Council of Connecticut, and the Connecticut Coalition for Environmental Justice.

Wine Tasting Benefit November 4th

wine tastingPlease join us on Wednesday, November 4th at Grace Episcopal Church, 55 New Park Avenue, Hartford to enjoy wine and good company. At the benefit, we will taste South American wines, including some organic wines, provided by Steve Leon of Wine Cellars 4, Farmington, CT. Snacks will also be available. Donations are requested to help support the FUNAFAM program of microloans, primarily given to small groups of women building businesses in Ocotal and neighboring areas. All wines tasted will be available for sale and H/OSCP will receive a portion of the sales.  For additional information, please phone 860-306-9481.


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The Hartford/Ocotal Sister City Project is a story of two cities reaching out to each other, one in Nicaragua, Central America, the other Connecticut in the United States.  It begins in 1986 when the Hartford Ocotal Sister City Project(HOSCP) was established with the help of the Capitol Region Conference of Churches and moves forward again in 1995 when the Project began providing seed money for a micro-lending program called FUNAFAM, which is based on the Grameen Bank model. Financial support from this program has helped hundreds of Ocotal women start small businesses of their own.

Over a period of 25 years HOSCP has used contributions to help fund the following programs, evolving from direct material aid to self-help initiatives:

  • Material aid shipments in conjunction with the New Haven-Leon SCP
  • Educational events
  • Helping to fund the purchase of an ambulance
  • Helping to fund the clean water project
  • Hurricane Mitch relief
  • FUNAFAM, a microcredit program based on the Grameen Bank model. Loaning small amounts of money to individuals starting small businesses
  • Health education programs in outlying areas surrounding Ocotal

Many of the founders of the HOSCP are still active in the work. The sister-city commitment does not go out of fashion, nor does it cease to inspire those involved.

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