What we’ve been up to!

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Estelí Week (19th-23rd) March 2018-

We began Estelí week with a stall in the SU Plaza where we handed out cakes and talked to many students about the society and the twinning of the two cities. Tuesday we hosted a quiz in the Raynor Lounge of Bar One with a Latin-American theme. The quiz was hugely successful and we’d like to thank everyone who turned up to make it such a fun and memorable evening.
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During the week, along with the town group, we welcomed the Mayor of Estelí, Francisco Valenzuela, to Sheffield. On Wednesday 21st March the Mayor came to speak at the University for an event organised in conjunction with the Department of Geography. When the Mayor arrived in Sheffield he was welcomed by Professor Mark Bateman and Dr Malcom Butler, the Director of Global Engagements. At the event the Mayor spoke about Estelí and recent socio-economic developments in the area. In addition to this he spoke of the issues they currently face and the plans he hopes to implement in the near future. Along with some coffee and cakes we were then joined by a PHD student, Paul Edward Montgomery, from the University of York. He gave a talk on the vast and fascinating pre-hispanic history of Nicaragua and Estelí.
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By the Friday, Estelí week was coming to a close however the biggest celebration had been saved for last and alongside the Lord Mayor of Sheffield, the Mayor of Estelí opened the new ‘Estelí Parade’. The event began with a walk down the parade backed by the rhythm of the University samba band and concluded with the unveiling of the street signs and information board.  Estelí Parade is a walkway and cycle path in the heart of Sheffield that runs alongside the River Don providing a scenic route between Lady’s Bridge and the bridge at Millsands. The new parade is in celebration of 30 years of successful twining between Sheffield and Estelí. A truly momentous occasion which received international coverage and really helped to highlight the success of the partnership. We were blessed to have both the Mayors there to unveil the street signs and information board and thank all of the attendees to such a joyous event.
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It was an amazing week and we hope to see some of you again at future events, if you fancy a nice walk along the River Don be sure to visit Estelí Parade and have a quick read of the information sign we helped create about the twinning, you may even see some familiar faces in the pictures!

Nov 2017 – 

A new academic year brings new opportunities and we were asked to take part in CU Live, an event run for children to give them learning opportunities outside of school during half term. We were asked to create a fun activity that we could do with the children, integrating a bit of Estelí’s culture into their day-to-day lives.

We decided to make maracas filled with rice and beans, which form the traditional Nicaraguan dish Gallo Pinto. We also integrated the traditional Estelí emblem, ‘El brujito’, by making end covers with this on. The children then stuck blue tissue paper round the maraca to create the Nicaraguan flag.

All in all this was a really fun event and it was really rewarding to give the children an activity that included themes of Estelí. It was also really nice to share out experiences with parents and raise awareness about the twinning between Estelí and Sheffield which is about to enter it’s 34th year.

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June 2016 – Helping to organise and marshal a charity bike ride around Sheffield to raise awareness of our twinning with Estelí. This was organised along-side the Sheffield Estelí Society whom may have other events and opportunities in Sheffield during the summer whilst we are away. See more at https://sheffieldestelisociety.org.uk/

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Feb 2016 – Visit from Magaly a student studying at FAREM university in Estelí. On the first day Issy (Society President) and Gaby accompanied Magaly to the Sheffield Working Women’s Project where she had the chance to meet with the organiser and learn about the work that is done to help with rehabilitating women engaged in drugs or prostitution. This was particularly interesting for Magaly as it directly relates to the work she does in Estelí where she is part of a women’s group  established to help fight for the rights of women in general, prostitutes and the LBGTQ community. Magaly asked lots of questions and was hopeful that they would be able to continue to share ideas once she returned to Nicaragua. Issy and Gaby found it an eye-opening experience to discover what life is like for so many women so close to home in Sheffield; as well as to hear the kind of projects that Magaly organises and takes part in back in Estelí. The society is keen to maintain a dialogue with Magaly and ensure that the new brigade visits her theatre and women’s rights group during the upcoming summer trip. 

On the second day we showed Magaly around the University campus and took her to the top of the Arts Tower so she could admire the view of the city. She was shocked to see how many buildings were so close together and remarked that there is ‘no more room!’ We then met with the brigade that will be travelling to Estelí this summer which was lovely for Magaly as she too, will be taking part in the exchange this coming June. She took some time to explain her work with her theatre group which we are hoping the new brigade will have time to experience once they are in Estelí. Magaly was selling some of the jewellery that her group make and sell in order to make money for their projects. Some of the new and old brigade then took Magaly to Notty House on Broomhill so that she could spend some more time getting to know the students and try some traditional Yorkshire grub! 

It was lovely to have Magaly visit here in Sheffield so that she could experience some of our culture in-country the way that we are able to on the annual exchange. We are hopeful that Magaly was the first of many visits from Estelí to Sheffield, making the link stronger each year.

 Dec 2015- present– Working with Sheffield Estelí society to develop an information board to be stationed at the beginning of the newly christened Estelí Parade. esteli-parade

Sept 2015 – April 2016 – Working with Sheffield Estelí society in the naming of a local road to be named after Estelí (potentially Estelí walkway/bridge)! Visit from María Jesus, a theatre costaricahostelteacher from Nicaragua. Recruited the largest brigade in the history of the society to go to Estelí this summer (2016). Working with a local tutor, David to train our recruits to teach English.

August 2015 – During some post-exchange backpacking travels, the Sheffield – Estelí connection has been proudly added to a tourist visitors’ map in Casa Dodoro Hospedaje, Costa Rica. #CiudadesHermanas #SheffieldEstelíBrigade #2015

June/July 2015 – Seven students head out for the 2015 interchange, to teach English and exchange culture.

July 2015 – Further preparation by Amy to lobby the SU for a scholarship to allow a Nicaraguan student to visit the UK

March 2014 – Sam and Sarah have started up their sustainable coffee buissness and won the unviersity enterprise award, with prize money of £100. They are now in the second stages and are looking to bag the £1000 prize money. Awesome work guys! Keep it up.

April 2014 – Freddie has started this progress page and the alumni page. Nifty huh.

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