Two events during the Swindon Festival of Literature in May will reinforce the quarter of a century that Swindon has been officially twinned with Ocotal in Nicaragua.
Organised by Swindon Ocotal Link (SOL), a day of celebration at Lower Shaw Farm on Saturday 7 May, 10am to 4pm, includes dance, cooking, circus skills with Lower Shaw Resident Jake the Juggler, and stories about the link between Swindon and Ocotal. Lunch with a Nicaraguan theme will be served after cooking workshops.
Ocotal residents Jorge Calderon and Maria Jose Gurrero Figuerro will be present and organisers hope the Nicaraguan Ambassador to the UK will attend.
On Monday 9 May, 6.30pm to 7.30pm, a Spanish evening in the Arts Centre, Old Town, will continue the celebration with powerful poetry, dynamic dance, uplifting song and a circus show.
Jake the Juggler, who has made three trips to Nicaragua with Performers Without Boarders, has recently returned from the country with a mission: to raise funds for a youth circus group in Ocotal, having made a commitment to do all he can to help them as they have little in the way of good equipment.
Bruce Clarke, chair of Swindon Ocotal Link (SOL) said: “This is really excellent news! It’s what twinning is all about: making direct links between like minded people in both towns.”
SOL supports a number of education and health programmes. Anybody interested in joining SOL to sustain the link with Ocotal and more generally interested in Latin America and Spanish culture is encouraged to join in and find out more.
See details of both events at www.swindonfestivalofliterature.co.uk Call 01793 524481 to book tickets.
Pictured top, from 2010, Jorge Calderon from Ocotal presenting the Mayor of Swindon the late Rex Barnett with a letter from the Mayor of Ocotal. Below, Jake the Juggler getting Nicaraguan youngsters involved with circus skills