Upcoming Events

Reading Discussion Group February 17th – Poems of Ernesto Cardenal

Poesia-6Please join us for the reading and discussion of poems by Ernesto Cardenal, the much admired and loved Nicaraguan poet, in the Seminar Room of the Hartford Public Library, 500 Main St., on Wed., Feb. 17, from 12:30 to 1:30 P.M. All are welcome at this free program, a collaboration of the Hartford/Ocotal Sister City Project and the Hartford Public Library as part of the library’s Bridging Cultures Series. Participants may bring their lunch.

Cardenal is known to many as a liberation theologian, a Catholic priest, a founder of the Solentiname art colony, a Sandinista revolutionary now estranged from the FSLN party, and a former Minister of Culture. He has written about poverty, exploitation, the Sandinista movement, nature, and science, among other topics.

During the program, poems will be read aloud and discussed, and copies of the poems will be available. Participants may want to read the following poems ahead of time:

“Prayer for Marilyn Monroe”   www.coalhillreview.com/prayer-for-marilyn-monroe             “Questions by the Lake”   http://www.smith.edu/poetrycenter/wp/cardenal/                         “From Zero Hour”    www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/180094                                                   “Drake in the Southern Sea”    www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/176257                                   “Amanecer”/”Dawn”; “La Mananita”/”The Morning” –in Spanish and English                          http://user.icx.net/~richmond/fgcgathering/poemcardenal.html

Please contact us if you have questions. sanderson03@snet.net or     kganderson@snet.net. We hope to see you at this informal poetry discussion.


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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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