35th Anniversary Celebration

Aviva Chomsky, historian, author and activist will speak at a virtual event sponsored by the Brookline-Quezalguaque Sister City Project (BQSCP) on Wednesday, October 20, 2021 at 7:00 pm

Professor of History and Coordinator of Latin American, Latino and Caribbean Studies at Salem State University, Dr. Chomsky is a prolific speaker and author. Her latest book is Central America’s Forgotten History: Revolution, Violence and the roots of Migration (Beacon Press 2021). She will speak on the topic in general and mention how it applies to the situation in Nicaragua in particular. 

This event is free and open to the public. Registration will be via Eventbrite. A Zoom link will be sent to all who register.

Although there is no admission fee, this is a fundraising event for Sister City Project in Quezalguaque. You can donate by using:

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June Virtual Fundraiser

To help sponsor any of these projects: 
Click the Donate button above

Donate from your Fidelity, Schwab or BNY Mellon DAF
Send a check to BQSCP, PO Box 114, Brookline MA 02446.

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The Clean Water Initiative

Accessible, clean water in Quezalguaque has been a very important Sister City initiative from 2017,  right up to the present.  When we did the needs assessment of seven  community rural water systems in 2017, we found that many things weren’t working. Chlorination systems weren’t working, seals and screens on wells and water storage tanks were missing, electrical service to the pumps was spotty, equipment was broken or in ill repair; water quality was not up to standard and water quantity was insufficient for the population’s needs.  Much of this was due to the lack of training and support for the local water committees who manage the systems and the lack of financial resources for water system maintenance.

The water improvement coalition that was  established at the onset of the initiative has been critical,  to first diagnose the problems there and then  implement improvements. Members of the coalition include: 1)the Quezalguaque municipal government (the mayor and staff from the municipal government ‘s project unit and the water and sanitation unit); 2)the local water system managers; 3) Nicaraguan professionals  and organizations on the ground— especially ECODES, a Spanish NGO working in Nicaragua, with an office located in Leon, Nicaragua and with deep expertise in rural water systems;  and CISTA, a research center at  the National Autonomous University in Leon, specializing in water quality, among things ; 4) the Rotary Club of Brookline; 5) the Metropolitan Rotary Club of Leon and;  6)Sister City and Sister City volunteers, two of whom are water experts. To support the water initiative, we have raised funds from generous donors in Brookline; applied for and won a Global Rotary Club grant and  worked with ECODES to leverage other grants.

Solar Panels at well site.

There have been significant improvements in the 7 rural water systems, due to a thorough assessment of the water systems, initially by Sister City volunteers  and later in greater depth by ECODES and CISTA civil engineers and water system management and water quality experts, and,  subsequently, and according to the assessment findings,  purchasing and installing new equipment for each water system and chlorinating the water supply.  Throughout the initiative,  extensive training in water system management and clean water has been provided to the community potable water  and sanitation committees at each site. Two water systems now even have solar panels to cut dependence on electricity and reduce cost to users.  We still  have much more work ahead, including continuing to support the local water and sanitation committees and installation of solar panels in other sites, among other activities. Goal 6 of the 2030 worldwide UN Sustainable Development Goals is Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all. We will continue to work with our partners in Nicaragua to ensure accessible, clean water for all households in Quezalguaque

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Quezalguaque Scholarship Recipients

Miurel Rodríguez – Cristo Rey – Medicine at UNAN
Naydelin Salgado – Santa Rosa – Industrial Engineering at UCAN
Heyzel Reyes – El Pozo – Nursing at UNAN
Fabio Borda – Casco Urbano – Industrial Engineering at ULSA

In February, four students from Quezalguaque received scholarships from BQSCP through FNE International to start their university studies. Sister City donated $2,000, which amounts to $500 per student for the 2021 academic year, payable in monthly installments. This will cover tuition, books, transportation, and other expenses.

The funds were awarded to students who were academically successful in high school and whose family needed financial support to send them to university. In return, the students agreed to maintain good grades, attend monthly meetings, and participate in community service projects.

We congratulate these students and wish them every success as they start their university studies. And we thank our generous donors for making these awards possible!

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Los Pipitos

May 2021 Update

Pipitos Quezalguaque was established in 2006 using land donated by the Mayor Don Bruno Montoya. The Pipitos center building was built by Ayuda en Accion, a Spanish NGO. In 2010, Maxine Shaw, a BQSCP board member, liaised with a foundation in California called Sueños that had a profound interest in children with disabilities. Sueños donated $17,795 to the Sister City to be used for Los Pipitos .  These funds were used for purchasing a significant amount of furniture for the center as well as didactic material, paint, and other supplies. Furniture and   materials were also purchased for a smaller Pipitos site in Cristo Rey.   Los Pipitos is largely operated by parent volunteers, with some professional assistance weekly from professionals who come from nearby Leon.

There are currently 28 students attending classes at Los Pipitos. Classes are held Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursdays.   The group is split in half. Fourteen come one week and the other 14 the following week.  There are 18 boys and 10 girls. The youngest children are 2, 4, and 6. The oldest are young adults. Their disabilities vary including down’s syndrome, intellectual disabilities, 2 children are blind, 1 child has autism. Some attend the public school as well but come to Pipitos for speech therapy. Others exclusively attend Pipitos.   

Los Pipitos Quezalguaque receives no financial support from the Mayor’s office in Quezalguaque or the Ministry of Education. Occasionally they get material support from the National Pipitos Organization (e.g., masks, disinfectant, etc.) and the national office also does extensive training. The Mayor’s office in Quezalguaque   occasionally loans the municipality’s van to Pipitos to take the students to sport events.  The parents of the Pipitos students sell soup on Sundays to raise money to cover some of the Center’s expenses.

At present SC sends $100 US dollars for Pipitos to the Alcaldia twice a year in January and in July to help with electricity and gas bills.  In April 2021, the BQSCP board voted to purchase a refrigerator for the Pipitos center and to increase the biannual funding from $100 to $200.

Carmen Narvaez, President
of Los Pipitos Quezalguaque and the mother of a Pipitos expressed her feeling about Los Pipitos ” Los Pipitos Quezalguaque es muy importante para
nuestras familias porque nuestro centro es donde llegan los niños y
los jóvenes con discapacidad porque las escuelas solamente reciben a
los niños con discapacidad leve.   Todos los niños
merecen tener oportunidades educativas, sociales y apoyo en general!

English translation: “Los Pipitos in Quezalguaque Pipitos is very
important for our families because our center is where children and young
people with disabilities come  because the schools only receive children
with very mild disabilities.   All children deserve educational
and social opportunities  and overall support!”


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