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Delegation from Oxford underway for twin town in Nicaragua

Mayor of Leon with Jane Longley

Picture caption: Mayor of Leon with Jane Longley (from Oxford) on 'Dia de los hermanamientos' (Day of brotherhoods or twinnings) in Leon, Nicaragua.

A delegation is underway to León in Nicaragua, Oxford's twin town. The five-strong team is led by Councillor John Tanner, who is also Vice-Chair of the Oxford-León Association & Trust and includes their Chair, Jan Marshall, joined by Councillor Mike Rowley, Pete Fryer of Unison and Joanne Lindsay, Community Youth Worker.

Oxford has been twinned with León in Nicaragua since 1984. León is a historic university city, situated 50 miles from the capital, Managua. Nicaragua is the second poorest country in Latin America and so most of the work of the Oxford León Association & Trust (OLAT), a registered charity, focuses on raising funds for development projects in and near to León.

The group works with locally-based organisations to fund specific small-scale projects. In recent years they have funded clean water installation, support for victims of domestic violence, a play area and toys for nursery children and a travelling library.

The aim of the delegation is to visit the projects the group has funded and look at some they may fund in the future. They also want to re-establish links in León with the city council, with local organisations and the universities.

Just before leaving Jan Marshall said: "I am particularly excited  about visiting the projects we have funded and meeting people face-to-face, whose lives have been changed as a result of access to clean water and other projects that we have facilitiated."

The delegates will be in León from 23 February 2013 for a week. Members of the association, who have travelled to Nicaragua on previous trips, have spoken of the warmth and liveliness of the people there and the wonderful welcome they received.  Updates on the trip can be checked out on their blog

The group also plans to sing "La Misa Campesina" or Nicaraguan Peasant Mass in Oxford again this year on Sunday 28 April 2013 at Blackfriars Chapel in St Giles'. Once the date is confirmed, details will be on their website. For details of this and further information about the charity and its work, please see visit the Oxford Leon Association website.

Updated on Thursday 21 February 2013

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