Welcome to the Oxford Leon website
Oxford has been twinned with León in Nicaragua since 1984. León is a historic university city, situated 50 miles from the capital, but similarities with Oxford end there. Nicaragua is the second poorest country in Latin America and so most of the work of the Oxford León Association & Trust (a registered charity) focusses on raising funds for development projects in and near to León. We work with locally-based organisations to fund specific small-scale projects. We have funded clean water installation, support for victims of domestic violence, a play area and toys for nursery children and a travelling library.
Every year a group of people come together in an Oxford church to sing La Misa Campesina or “Peasant Mass”. It is loud and lively and reflects the richness of the Nicaraguan folk tradition and is very different to the church music that we are used to. Our volunteers organise a sponsored swim each year and through this raise money for projects connected to water (see example below).
There have been several visits over the years to and from León. The mayor of León joined us for the 25th anniversary celebrations in March 2011. Jane Mercer, our longest-standing member and most active volunteer, visited León July 2012. Recebtly a delegation from Oxford visited León, please read more about the visit on the blog.
Below is a photo of a water storage unit that was built with funding from a sponsored swim in Oxford. It is in a remote mountain community where some people have to travel up to 4km to fetch water. The unit collects and stores water hygienically so that even in the dry season there is enough and it is clean. The round structure is a shower, being built by local people with funding provided last year.
Annette Honeywell, former Chair of the Oxford Leon Association, took part in the Blenheim Triathlon on 8th June for OLAT. She bravely swam the lake and all money raised will go towards the pipeline that this year’s sponsored swim is supporting. The photo below shows work on this pipeline. You can sponsor Annette via her Just Giving page.
Do you have an interest in Central America, in relieving poverty, or perhaps just like to help people while having a good time? If so, come along to our next event and/or ask us for a membership form. If you know of anyone else who may be interested in joining, please tell them about this web site, pass on our contact details or give them a membership form. We'd love to get in touch.
We have a recent Newsletter with lots about our current work, download it here!