Archive | February, 2013

Day three of my time in Leon, Nicaragua

26 Feb

It has been a very eventful three days, visiting projects supported by the Oxford Leon Association in this University town of Nicaragua. Here is a summary of what I have seen:

Medical Post

I have visited a run-down medical post in La Sabre, in need of running water to improve its cleanliness. (It was very dirty, with medical waste incinerated in open air at the rear of the property.) Oxford may be able to help fund a water pipe to supply water across the community.

Mini Biblioteca

In the afternoon I saw a Mini-library funded to help children´s literacy and enjoyment of books. Also, a performance by children including a “Hegontona” (a traditional puppet of a giant woman) was given.

Women´s Rights

Nicaragua is a machismo country; it places value on macho attitudes and behaviors which I´m told is common in Latin-America. We visited a feminist group, who are researching peoples´ attitude to sexual harassment towards women. We heard of a controversial case of a University lecturer being let off of a rape allegation despite strong supporting evidence.

Schools, nurseries, educational projects

We helped to serve at a breakfast/lunch club run by Mums´ at a local school, played with children at a nursery and saw the Mini-biblioteca deliver an educational volcano firework display to another school.

Theatre performance 

As you may know this is the area of my interest! I was able to see a Taiwanese production of music, dance and knife-play. Women were figures of grace and beauty and the men as roosters. Once these strong gender types were established they gave way to dances depicting “guy gets girl.” The performance standard was fantastic.


The Oxford-Leon Delegation, to Nicaragua

24 Feb

I´m currently in a hotel in Managua, Nicaragua central America. Myself and Cllr. Mike Rowley have gotten to stay a night here (before moving on to Leon) due to the rest of the team being delayed!

Our journey is to visit Oxford´s twin town of Leon. Town twinning is a common phenomena existing all over the world, and is simply a relationship of friendship and support established between two towns. (Further info on twin town scheme found here). I have come with the Oxford Leon Association, who are an active fundraising group for sustainable development/social projects in Leon. The purpose of the trip is to visit our friends in Leon, re-establishing those partnerships and building new ones. It´s going to be an exciting time, visiting projects from Nuevas Esperanzas and other NGOs and seeing the difference that Oxford´s fundraising has made on this developing nation.

I shall keep you posted on my experiences. Also with me on the delegation are Jan Marshall, Cllr. Mike Rowley, Cllr John Tanner and Pete Fryer from Unison.