The Richland Center - Santa Teresa Sister City Project celebrated its 30th anniversary on October 27th in Richland Center, Wisconsin with a community supper and dance performance by the Hijas del Maiz (Daughters of the Corn) Dance troupe from Managua, Nicaragua. WCCN had the privilege of sponsoring the dance troupe and also volunteering at the event.
The Sister City Project began in 1987 after a group of concerned citizens, with the help of WCCN (back then, the Wisconsin Coordinating Council on Nicaragua), petitioned the Nicaraguan Embassy to pair Richland Center with a city of similar size in Nicaragua. They were granted their petition and paired with Santa Teresa, a farming community south of Managua. Since then there have been dozens of fundraising events, trips to Nicaragua, humanitarian projects and people to people exchanges which have enriched the lives of hundreds of people in each community through the Sister City Project.
The 30th Anniversary event was a culmination of the countless hours and tireless work of volunteers, employees and every day citizens in both countries. The event was sold out as 200 people from the Richland Center area dined on tacos, burritos and homemade treats for dessert. Dinner was followed by a folkloric dance presentation by the Hijas del Maiz dance troupe which is a collective of teenage dancers from Nicaragua who are chosen once a year to travel throughout the US for one month in order to promote cultural exchange and give the young participants an experience in international travel.
The celebration raised $5,000 for the Sister City Project, which will go towards their work in Nicaragua. See santa-teresa.org for more information about their great work. The Sister City Project is also an investor in WCCN.