Twinned Estelí Spring Challenge

A Sheffield society is going the extra mile to help friends living on the other side of the world.

Thursday, 1st April 2021, 12:00 am
The 34 Spring Challenge.

In the 80’s, during the USA-backed Contra war, Sheffield people went to Estelí on visits and work brigades and our city has been twinned with Estelí since 1987. That year, thousands of pounds for drinking water were raised in a series of cultural events, including a sold-out concert at the Crucible Theatre compered by Alexei Sayle.

Sheffield Esteli Society has maintained these links since 1987 by hosting young Nicaraguan activists here and organising visits to Estelí. Money for community projects has been raised continuously through an annual bike ride and celidhs. Sheffield has its own Esteli Parade, part of the Lower Don walk.

Nicaragua was rarely in the news again until April 2018, when young people peacfully protested about changes in Social security, which would affect their grandparents.

Members of the Sheffield University Samba band, pictured at the opening ceremony of Esteli Parade. Picture: Marie Caley NSST Esteli Parade MC 6

The government of Daniel Ortega repressed this, ensuing demonstrations with violence. At least 300 people were killed, thousands wounded and hundreds imprisoned.

Over 100,000 have gone into political exile, many to nearby Costa Rica. President Ortega continues to punish and harass those questioning his authority, including NGOs.

This year, unable to hold the Annual Bike ride but still wanting to support its community projects and celebrate 34 years of twinning, the Society is organising a “34 Spring Challenge”.

The challenge consists of an individual, family or group of friends doing something 34 times from the start of spring on Saturday 20th March for 34 days to 22nd April. This can be anything! Walk, run, swim or even bike 34 miles in a day or over a period of time.

If you are not the sporty type, why not cross 34 books off your reading list, try baking 34 cakes, or take 34 photos of spring.

The goal is to achieve the distance between Sheffield and Estelí, which is 5282 miles together.

So for every mile that you run or every time you do your specific task, it will contribute towards that goal.

Suggested donation for the challenge is individuals £12 , £3 for unemployed and children free.

For more information and registration details on the Spring Challenge, go to