Upcoming Events

Reading Discussion Group November 18th – Flame in the Air: Bilingual Poetry Edition

Please comVidaluz Flame in the Aire to a discussion of Vidaluz Meneses’ Flame in the Air: Bilingual Poetry Edition, edited and translated by Maria Roof, in the Seminar Room of the Hartford Public Library, 500 Main St., on Wed., Nov. 18, from 12:30 to 1:30 P.M. This program is a collaboration of H/OSCP and the Hartford Public Library as part of the library’s Bridging Cultures Series. All are welcome at this free program, and participants may bring their lunches.

A widely known and admired poet and human rights advocate, Meneses was active in the Sandinista regime. She writes about personal and political subjects. Flame in the Air was namedBest Bilingual Poetry Book 2014.”

Reading groups in June and July discussed interviews with Meneses on her life and work in Parts I and II of this book as well as many of her poems in Part III. We did not have time to consider some of her important poems, particularly some concerning women’s lives and gender roles. For this program, we suggest reading the following: “Snapshot of a Marriage,” p. 217; “When I Married,” p. 219; “On A Sleepless Night,” p. 235; “The Office,” p. 237; “May in Nicaragua,” p. 263; “Cakchiquel Woman,” p. 279; “Antigua,” p. 281; “Familiar April,” p. 285; “The New Skirt,” p. 287; “Mayaya June Beer,” p. 337; and “Reckoning,” p. 357.  The poems in Spanish are on the facing pages. We ask participants to come with suggestions of other poems in the collection that we might also read together.

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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