Moscow Sister City Association Newsletter

May 12, 2019

This newsletter was sent via the City of Moscow on behalf of the Moscow Sister City Association. This newsletter was written by Moscow Sister City Association authors and may not necessarily reflect the views of the City of Moscow.
In this issue:   
  1. Spring graduations: university students who receive our scholarships
  2. Notes on MSCA goals and activities from meeting of April 28

1. Spring graduates, recipients of MSCA scholarships

            [All quotations below except those by Jerald Dávila are translated by me with help from Google Translate. – Dave Barber]

Betzi Vega is a major in business and finance. She wrote, April 2019: “I want to tell you that I am one month and 15 days from the end of my university career, I am already doing my final work to apply for my Bachelor's degree, and final exams are also coming ... I want to thank you and the Association, for all the support during these days. Now I am close to becoming a professional.

Betzi with friends
Betzi on left

Betzi also thanked us, along with her parents and other supporters, in a written “Dedicatoria” which was evidently part of her graduation ceremony: “por haberme brindado todo el apoyo económico durante estos 5 años, por siempre estar pendiente de mí, y contribuir a mi educación.” That is, for supporting her financially, paying attention to her, contributing to her education. 

Yerlan David Sequeira is a finance major. Recently he has been an intern in the Villa El Carmen mayor’s office. He wrote in early April: “I am taking the final classes, which are scheduled to finish on April 13. They have very difficult content. Also I am preparing the defense, which will take place at the end of April or beginning of May. . . . I hope in God to finish everything successfully and to be able to obtain my university degree that will guarantee my licensing and being a professional. Thank you for your support.  

Yerlan and other student
Yerlan and other student

José Manuel Sequeira is a psychology major. He wrote in August, 2018:  “Dear Brothers and Sisters of the City of Moscow, I want to inform you that my family is deeply grateful for your financial support throughout this period of my professional preparation, and especially your support during the difficult moment that my country is going through. . . . the crisis makes me crave even more my dreams of being a professional. My expectations are to be able to receive my degree as a psychologist next year or soon, and to be able to exercise my scientific skills and knowledge either in a nursing home in my community or in the Health Center. Today I help my mom to sew.”

And in April 2019, he affirmed, “I am well in personal life and in my studies. My graduation may be at the end of May. I have plans to volunteer in the addiction rehabilitation center for psychoactive substances, this to have more experience in my profession and be able to get work later.”

José Manuel, left, with family
José Manuel, left, with family

Jerald Garcia Dávila – Jerald is an English major and will graduate next month. He says, “Hello David I will graduate next month because i have to take one class more. I will work as a teacher and after a year i want to create an English Academy in order to help to poor children. I want to say you that I'm Graceful with You and all the members of your Association. Thank U.“


Yanci Espinoza. She’s a business administration major and is graduating from the UNAN this spring. In August 2018, she said, “Next year I hope to finish my program and get my degree, by mid-year. I feel very motivated thanks to you all to be a great professional and so help my family and my society.” In April 2019, she wrote that “In my classes, thanks to God, I'm doing well. on April 12th I finish the classes, then in the month of May I will defend my thesis before the jury; then they can schedule the graduation party afterwards.”

Yanci with Augusto César Sandino in Managua
Yanci with Augusto César Sandino in Managua
And on March 30, 2019, Yanci got married.
And on March 30, 2019, Yanci got married.

2. MSCA meeting of April 28, 2019 (continued from Newsletter of May 1, 2019)

Summary with help of post-meeting notes from participants (Dave Barber, Lubia Cajas Cano, Linda Christenson, Margaret Dibble, Anita Havey, Walter Hesford, Cindy Magnuson, Celi Rivera,  Susie Wiese)

1. Fundraising. Our current account will be depleted by the end of 2019, although we can hope to gain funds from the summer letter to be sent out to members and, if we are accepted again, the Alternative Giving Market in December. Other ideas that were mentioned included programs on Amazon, the Moscow Food Co-op, application to the 2020 Idaho Gives program, finding a Nicaraguan product to sell (like the Bainbridge Island association that sells Nicaraguan coffee), and an online auction. 

2. New activities. Ideas beyond helping the schools and students of Villa El Carmen were discussed, such as supporting local entrepreneurial efforts, exploring the uses of solar energy in rural areas or needs for water purification. Any such effort would require much research and preparation. 

3. Sending money to Nicaragua. Lubia and Celi, who have experience with Latin American financial systems,  both personal and through University of Idaho programs, advised that we may have a problem getting money to Villa El Carmen, in particular if Nicaragua  is suspended or expelled by the Organization of American States, or as a result of sanctions by the United States or the European Union. We might explore using local Nicaraguan banks (if there is one in the Villa El Carmen area) or placing money in a bank of another country which has a branch in Managua. 

4. What’s happening politically in Nicaragua. The country is in a new stage of its year-long crisis. This new stage began in late February when the government initiated negotiations with an opposition group called Alianza Cívica para la Justicia y la Democracia. The Alianza’s short-term goals are the release of around 760 political prisoners, safe return of the estimated 60,000 exiles (mostly in Costa Rica),  and an end to repressive tactics by the National Police and the judicial system. The Alianza’s long term goals are a return to a semblance of democracy in the executive and legislative branches and objectivity in the judicial. The government’s goals, both short- and long-term, appear to be to improve the national economy, and (thereby) to stay in power. The negotations sputter day by day; the Alianza insists that the government show seriousness in negotiating and resolving the national crisis but so far has not seen any.

But the start of negotiations has given renewed energy to the protest movement. There is a revived dedication and ingenuity in the protests, and a spirit largely absent, or submerged, since last summer. And the government, though imprisoning some journalists, has been unable to shut down the independent press.
5. Keeping contact with our Villa El Carmen friends. All of our scholarship students have been in contact with Dave since 2016, and most, since the anti-government protests began in April 2018, have expressed appreciation that we are maintaining communication with them and keeping up to date on what is happening in Nicaragua. Walter commented (post-meeting): “’Don't forget us’: for me this was the most important take-away from the comments you gave us from your Nicaraguan contacts.  It reminds me of what we heard from Chinese students after the Tiana'men Square massacre. I think this plea could be used to motivate re-commitment to our Sister City program.”

Newsletter by Dave Barber, President MSCA

MSCA Mailing Address:
PO Box 8367
Moscow, ID 83843

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