Upcoming Events

Discussion of To Die In This Way: Nicaraguan Indians and the Myth of Mestizaje, 1880-1965 – April 20th and May 18th

gould to die this wayJoin us for a discussion of Jeffrey L. Gould’s To Die in This Way: Nicaraguan Indians and the Myth of Mestizaje, 1880-1965 in the Seminar Room of the Hartford Public Library, on Wed., April 20, from 12:30 to 1:30 P.M. We will consider the Introduction and Chapters 1-3 (up to p. 133) and then take on the second half of the book on May 18.

Published in 1998, the book has been widely acclaimed for its revelations about the continuing existence of indigenous communities and culture in western Nicaragua despite the common belief that Nicaragua has been a homogenous, mestizo culture since the 19th century. Gould bases his study on a variety of historical documents and oral interviews and shows that ethnic erasure met the needs of developers and politicians across the political spectrum.

All are welcome at this free program, which is a collaboration of the Hartford/Ocotal Sister City Project and the library and is part of the library’s Bridging Cultures Series. Participants may bring their lunch to the program. Please contact us if you have questions. sanderson03@snet.net or kganderson@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 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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