End of Year

 Dear Brookline-Quezalguaque Supporter,

2020 has been an extremely difficult and challenging year for all of us in the US and throughout the world with the COVID19 pandemic. We sincerely hope that you and your loved ones are healthy and safe. This has also been a challenging and eventful year for the Brookline-Quezalguaque Sister City Project in Nicaragua.   

  • We have provided money for PPE supplies to help with the COVID19 outbreak as well as money to help reduce the risk of dengue fever.
  • We have provided funding for substantial renovations the library.
  • Our multi-year rural water initiative has continued.  Our work in 2020 follows earlier work completed in 2018 and 2019 that significantly improved 7 rural water systems, making clean water more accessible and available to people in Quezalguaque.

We are excited to announce a new initiative we have just started with an old friend, Michael Cipoletti and FNE International (FNEI) to provide scholarships to students in Quezalguaque. FNEI’s scholarship program has been in place for 12 years. In 2020 the program is supporting 143 students in their pursuit of a university education, including 8 students from Quezalguaque. We want to expand this number.

Through this scholarship program, families in this poor, semi-rural municipality can send a child to college. The scholarship students pursue training in all fields, ranging from education and journalism to business, engineering, and medicine.  

Applicants are evaluated based on their academic success throughout high school, and the family’s financial needs. When they receive the scholarships, they agree to maintain a high GPA, attend monthly meetings, and participate in community service projects.

This program costs $500/student per year which includes tuition, books, transportation, and any other expense. We hope you will join us in this effort to send young people from Quezalguaque to university for an academic year. This will increase the number of students who are supported during their entire degree program and create a cohort of young professionals who will give back to the community.

Please make an important end-of-year donation to the Brookline–Quezalguaque Sister City.  In 2021, we also plan to continue our support for the library, art classes for kids, the health center, and the water initiative. You can use the donate button above or give from your Fidelity, Schwab or BNY Mellon DAF. The town of Brookline has had a formal sister city partnership with Quezalguaque for the last 33 years, and your support has made this possible.   

We extend our sincere thanks to you and hope you stay safe and healthy!

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COVID-19 Tribute to Health Workers

Nicaragua is  facing an increasing number of COVID-19 cases and deaths among the general population including among health personnel in hospitals and other health facilities.  Brookline’s Sister City, Quezalguaque, is no exception. There is a mounting number of cases and some deaths including the death of a beloved nurse at the Centro de Salad, Quezalguaque’s health center.

This video was sent to BQSCP from our colleagues in Nicaragua. It is a tribute to all the health professionals that have died from COVID-19.

Georgina, pictured above, is in the video.

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Projects your donations support…


“Brookline Sister City’s support for our seven potable water systems has been very beneficial and a blessing as it has provided us with this vital liquid —- water— for the well-being of our families.  Thank you for your unconditional support and your commitment, Brookline brothers and sisters who have  provided this support to Quezalguaque from your hearts.”   Mayor Henry Sandoval

Brookline-Quezalguaque Sister City Project (BQSCP) invested  over $100,000   in improvements in 7 rural water systems in the municipality of Quezalquaque. These systems provide approximately 70% of all water to residents.  Substantial needed improvements were made to the rural water systems’ infrastructure (i.e., deep wells with motorized pumps, water storage tanks, the electrical grids and  other equipment) and to water quality, resulting in improved accessibility to water and cleaner water for the people of Quezalquaque.  Throughout the rural water initiative, BQSCP  worked together with the mayor’s office in Quezalguaque, the International Rotary Club (that contributed an additional $30,000), Brookline’s Rotary Club, the local  Health Ministry in Quezalguaque, ECODES ( a Spanish NGO working in Nicaragua on water system improvements) and the Center for Research in Health, Work and the Environment at the National Autonomous University of Nicaragua in Leon.

Community potable water and sanitation committees that oversee each of the rural water systems received continual training and technical assistance throughout the project, as did the Water & Sanitation Unit in the Mayor’s Office in Quezalquaque.  The rural water system improvements in Quezalguaque have been lauded by the Health Ministry in Nicaragua.


Sister City provides funds to train library staff. Including in the training was how to read to groups of young people. The photo is a staff member reading to children in Cristo Rey one of the sites of mobile library visits.

The original library was built in 2003. Currently funds from BQSCP are helping in the renovation of the building including a new roof.

New ceiling, lights and fans have been installed.

Library staff and other town officials admire the new the reconstructed roof.

Art Classes

For many years BQSCP has funded art classes for students.  Below is a recent project.  

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Events Necessitate Early Sister City Fundraiser

The global impact of the coronavirus reminds us that we are all connected, even to isolated towns in faraway countries like Nicaragua.  Our collective well-being depends on recognizing these connections and collaborating with others.  Our 30+ year relationship with Quezalguaque is one such collaboration that members of Brookline have pursued.  Now it is more important than ever to continue our support.  Please read the attached appeal and consider sponsoring our 2020 Fundraiser or donating in whatever amount possible so that we can continue our work together.

Sponsorship or other tax deductible donations can be made using the Donate button on the top right of our website www.BrooklineSisterCity.org or checks payable to Brookline Sister City Project can be mailed to PO Box 114, Brookline, MA 02446.

Thank you for you support.
Stay well! Saludos! 
Support the Brookline-Quezalguaque Sister City Project

Help us Respond to COVID-19 & Continue Our Collaborative Efforts
to Secure Clean Water, Improve Health Care
Support Education & the Arts

At this difficult time as we are all concerned about the COVID-19 pandemic, the Brookline-Quezalguaque Sister City Project had to make a decision with regard to our fall fundraiser.  The fall celebration has been our major fundraising event. However, in this time of uncertainty regarding future social gatherings, we cannot count on a public event this fall and are making our annual appeal for your sponsorship and support at this time.

As you know, we are a volunteer-driven organization with no paid staff.  All proceeds from our fundraising are used to support health and education initiatives in Quezalguaque.  We receive no government or public funding.

In addition to collaborating on health and educational needs of the community, we have recently responded to requests related to COVID-19 from both the Quezalguaque Health Department and municipality. The health department asked for funds to purchase personal protective equipment (PPE) for the staff at the main health center and 3 satellite sites. The municipality asked for support for an educational outreach campaign for teams going door-to-door to promote physical distancing and hand-washing. 

In the face of the uncertainty of the current situation, it is vital that we honor our long-standing commitment to the people of Quezalguaque. This will likely be a time of unprecedented need. Therefore, we are asking you to consider making a sponsorship-level or other contribution now instead of one in the fall.

This current appeal will be our major drive for 2020. We ask for your help at whatever level possible. Donations are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law and may be targeted to specific projects or given to the general fund. 

2020 Fundraising Campaign Celebration Committee

Elias Audy, Carol Caro, Chobee Hoy, Bernard Greene, Liz Kass MD,
Peter Moyer MD, Judy Paradis, Carol Piñeiro, Richard Segan,
Lois Statlender, Lisa Wisel, Kea van der Ziel MD

Yes!!! I/We believe in the mission of the Brookline-Quezalguaque Sister City Project and would like to sponsor the 2020 Fundraising Campaign to enable the Brookline Sister City Project to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and continue its other programs and initiatives.

___ $250 Líderes         ___ $500 Cónsules      ___$1,000 Diplomáticos

___$2,500 Embajadores  ___$5,000 Presidentes         $____Other Amount


Address: ________________________________________________

Phone: ___________________E-mail address:__________________

Use my donation for: __General Fund   __Specific Project. Specify: ________

Please make your sponsorship commitment as soon as possible; we would appreciate receipt of your contribution by June 30, 2020.

Tax Deductible

Contributions to the Brookline Sister City Project are fully tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. The Brookline Quezalguaque Sister City Project is tax exempt under section 501(c)(3). 

Sponsorship or other contributions payable to Brookline-Quezalguaque Sister City Project can be mailed to BQCSP, P.O. Box 114, Brookline, MA 02446 or made on-line at www.BrooklineSisterCity.org

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Evening with Richard Blanco

Richard Blanco Nourishes Minds And Conquers Hearts And In Brookline
By Lois Statlender and Bambi Good
Photo By Jean Stringham & George Abbott White

Richard Blanco mesmerized his audience as he shared slides, poems, ideas, and humor with the almost 200 people gathered at First Parish in Brookline on February 28.

Because Nicaragua is the country of Brookline’s Sister City, our guest poet opened the evening with slides from his visit to the International Poetry Festival held in Nicaragua.  He followed the slides of this enormous week-long outdoor festival with a slide depicting the orderly and formal seating in Washington, D.C., where Blanco read his famous poem, “One Today,” on the occasion of Obama’s second Inauguration.  He commented that poetry is recited out loud much more frequently in Latin American countries than in this country. 

Richard Blanco touched on many of the varied themes that he explores in his newest book, How to Love a Country whose poems embrace topics including immigration, gun violence, racism, and LGBTQ issues.  From this collection he read “Complaint of the Rio Grande,” written in first person by the river which says “I wasn’t meant to drown children, hear mothers’ cries, never meant to be your geography…”  Blanco questions the boundaries that divide people such as hate and prejudice, as well as physical boundaries.

The audience enthusiastically clapped after the first poem was read, and Richard Blanco explained that the audience usually does not clap after readings at poetry events but told us with his ever present sense of humor that we did not have to stop. And we didn’t.  There was, however, dead silence after he read a poem on the last recorded lynching in the United States, titled “Easy Lunching on Herndon Avenue,” from his book Boundaries.The evening ended on a more upbeat note, however, as the audience gave Richard Blanco a standing ovation. 

This event was a fundraiser for The Brookline-Quezalguaque Sister City Project, and generously hosted by the Immigration Justice Committee of First Parish. The funds raised will go directly to continue supporting the many ongoing projects in Quezalguaque. The Brookline-Quezalguaque Sister City Project has been in existence for more than 30 years.  If you would like more information about Brookline’s Sister City and its projects, please visit our website at www.brooklinesistercity.org, or write to us at: brooklinesistercity@gmail.com.  We welcome your questions and we welcome new members!

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