New Haven Sister Cities

Global Citizen Diplomacy of 21st Century — one individual, one city at a time

Afula-Gilboa, Israel   |   Amalfi, Italy    |   Avignon, France   |   Freetown, Sierra Leone
Hue, Vietnam   |   León, Nicaragua    |   Tetlanohcan, Mexico


León, Nicaragua (1984)

León is the capital of the León Department,  whose motto is "Viva León Jodido". Leon is second in size only to Managua, and is the intellectual capital of Nicaragua. DISCOVER

Location: New Haven
Members: 5
Latest Activity: Jul 3, 2011


The New Haven/León Sister City Project is a progressive, binational, grassroots organization that fosters a partnership between the communities of Greater New Haven, Connecticut and León, Nicaragua. Our mission is to promote social justice. We work to form fair and respectful relationships between the people of our two cities. Through delegations and other exchanges, we strive to understand and celebrate our respective cultures. In León, we engage in sustainable economic, human, and community development projects. In New Haven, we educate our neighbors about Nicaragua and about local and global effects of policies of the U.S. government and international economic institutions.

Brief History
In 1979, the people of Nicaragua, led by the Sandinistas, overthrew the corrupt Somoza dictatorship. The social justice revolution that followed, in which Nicaragua put education, health, economic empowerment, and participatory democracy at the top of its agenda, provided a living example of a society that advocated for the poor, the majority of the Nicaraguan population.
Threatened by a Central American nation that placed the interests of its people above the interests of global capitalism, the Reagan administration mined Nicaragua's harbors, ordered a trade embargo, and organized and funded the Contras, the counter-revolutionaries who conducted a brutal war to defeat the revolution.
The New Haven/León Sister City Project formed in 1984. Inspired by the Nicaraguan revolution and appalled by the U.S. covert war against Nicaragua, we sought to implement an alternative foreign policy between the people of New Haven and the people of León, based on equality, respect, and mutual understanding.
In the 1990 elections, UNO, a U.S. supported and funded coalition of Nicaraguan political parties, defeated the Sandinistas. Under UNO the tremendous gains in health, education, and participatory democracy were soon reversed. Burdened by crushing international debt, natural disasters, including Hurricane Mitch and a prolonged drought, and governmental corruption, Nicaragua is once again the second poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.
After the defeat of the Sandinistas, many U.S.-Nicaragua sister city organizations struggled to continue, and some disbanded. However, the New Haven/León Sister City Project has been committed to the people of León no matter who has held power, and works with whomever shares our values and goals. We continue to work to improve mutual understanding through projects designed to contribute to sustainable economic, community, and human development.


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Members (5)


Promoting an awareness of the customs, cultures and historical heritage of its sister cities within New Haven and beyond since 1981.

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New Haven Sister Cities is a 501c3 organization and as such all membership dues are tax deductible as a charitable contribution.
Our membership period runs from beginning to the end of every calendar year (Jan-Dec) with an option to renew your membership as early as October of a previous year



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