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Discussion of Before the Revolution: Women’s Rights and Right-Wing Politics in Nicaragua, 1821-1979 – June 15th

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Please join a reading group discussion of Before the Revolution: Women’s Rights and Right-Wing Politics in Nicaragua, 1821-1979, an engaging, thought-provoking history by Victoria Gonzalez-Rivera, on Wed., June 15, from 12:30 to 1:30 P.M. The program will be held in the Seminar Room of the Hartford Public Library, 500 Main St.

 Although much has been written about women’s involvement in the Sandinista movement as guerillas and messengers in the Nicaraguan revolution and as supporters of the Sandinista regime after the revolution, less has been written about Nicaraguan women’s earlier political activism. Before the Revolution includes stories and analysis of women’s political activity dating back to the 1800s, particularly toward the end of the century when women campaigned actively for rights to suffrage and education. This activism was a precursor to the first wave feminist movement developing in the first part of the 20th century. Using interviews as well as other sources, Gonzalez-Rivera also helps readers understand women’s subsequent support of the Somoza regime in the middle of the 20th century.

Gonzalez-Rivera is an associate professor of Chicana and Chicano Studies at San Diego State University. During her early life, she lived in Nicaragua, where her NIcaraguan father was a pediatrician.  Her American mother, Katherine Hoyt, is known to many  friends of the Hartford/Ocotal Sister City Project as the National Co-Coordinator of the Alliance for Global Justice and its Nicaragua Network program and as a participant in last October’s Nicaraguan Canal programs in the Hartford area.

The discussion of her book is a collaboration of the Hartford/Ocotal Sister City Project and the Hartford Public Library and is part of the library’s Bridging Cultures Series. Participants may bring brown bag lunches to the program. Information atkganderson@snet.net and 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 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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