In March 1986, a group of people gathered together at a Norwalk church to form a sister city connection between Norwalk, Connecticut and Nagarote, Nicaragua. They believed that through people-to-people contact and exchange, U.S. citizens could get to know Nicaraguans, transcending the violence, politics and propaganda which often characterized "official" relations between the two governments.
Working with a Nagarote Board of Directors or "Directiva," the Project sponsored delegations, material aid shipments and a variety of projects, including developing Nagarote's first library. Project decisions and planning have always taken place at the local level in Nagarote.
Nagarote, Nicaragua is a small city of 36,000 people, about half of whom live in the rural outlying areas. It is located in central Nicaragua on the Pacific coast midway between the major cities of Managua and Leon. Unemployment and underemployment are in the high double digits. Primarily an agricultural community that produces cattle, soybeans, and corn, there is one poorly equipped health clinic, a library, 9 churches, and 47 schools. Puerto Sandino, once Nagarote's thriving seaport, was seriously damaged in 1983 after a U.S. CIA attack during the Contra War. It is now the site of an oil refinery.Nicaragua,is located in Central America between Honduras and Costa Rica. It is the second poorest country in the Western Hemisphere after Haiti, has had a troubled history. Earthquakes, hurricanes, volcanoes, corrupt leaders and foreign interference in their government have resulted in a severely damaged, dysfunctional economy with most people living on less than $2/day.
We seek to build friendship and understanding between the people of the greater Norwalk area and Nagarote and to break the cycle of poverty in Nagarote’s poorest barrios. Our sustainable development projects for youth, housing, reforestation, scholarships, preschool, and micro loans help the people of Nagarote help themselves. Each year, visiting delegations support technical and cultural interaction.