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Discussion of Rosa of the Wild Grass: The Story of a Nicaraguan Family – June 21

Rosa of the Wild Grass: The Story of a Nicaraguan Family by British writer and artist Fiona Macintosh will be the topic of the Hartford/Ocotal Sister City Project and Hartford Public Library reading group discussion in room 141 on the main floor of the library, 500 Main St., on Wed., June 21, from 12:30 to 1:30 P.M. All are welcome at this free program, part of the library’s Bridging Cultures Series, and participants may take their lunches.

MacIntosh went to Nicaragua in 1981, shortly after the 1979 Sandinista revolution. There she found work designing educational materials for free educational programs. In connection with her work, she met Rosa in 1982 and later traveled back to Nicaragua numerous times to talk with Rosa and three generations of her family. Macintosh recorded their real-life stories of experiences dating back to the Somozan period and continuing until 2013, when she made her last trip there. These conversations and recordings are the basis of her book published in 2016.

The stories, primarily those of women, help the reader grasp the massive upheavals occurring in such areas as politics, education, gender roles, health, employment, migration, and religion. The cover of Rosa of the Wild Grass quotes Noam Chomsky’s description of the book: “A poignant, gripping, sensitive tale.”

We have a few copies of the book available for loan. Books can also be purchased at local and online booksellers. Please contact us for help getting a book and other information.

For more information, please contact kganderson@snet.net or sanderson03@snet.net.

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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 29 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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