Promoting cultural exchanges between Oxford & Leon

by John Tanner in Oxford, England, United Kingdom

We did it
On 8th April 2018 we successfully raised £420 with 7 supporters in 42 days

Cover costs associated with bringing two musicians, Luis and Franklin, from Nicaragua, to play at a ‘Misa Campesina’ in Oxford, April 2018.

by John Tanner in Oxford, England, United Kingdom

The Oxford León Association and Trust (OLAT) is inviting two Nicaraguan musicians to participate in a ‘Misa Campesina’, which will be celebrated on Sunday 22nd April 2018 at 11.30 at Blackfriars, Oxford. The conductor is Duncan Saunderson.

Money raised through the Crowdfunding platform will be used to fund the travel, accommodation and subsistence costs of the two musicians during their stay in Oxford from 17th April to 1st May 2018. The appeal is seeking to raise £5,000 to cover the costs of the two musicians, expenditure will be made against invoices, and any outstanding funds remaining at the end of the trip will be used by OLAT to support on-going social projects in León. A detailed budget is shown below.

Oxford has been twinned with León, a university city in Nicaragua, since 1986. The ‘Misa Campesina’ was composed by Carlos Mejía Godoy, in collaboration with musicians, priests, workers, fishermen and subsistence farmers. Its lively tunes, passionate lyrics and complex rhythms reflect the richness of Nicaraguan folk tradition. The Mass, is sung in Spanish, has been sung annually in Oxford for many years. This year, OLAT is hoping to bring over two talented musicians from León to take part in the Misa.  One of them is Franklin Martinez, son of Pablo Martinez Guadalupe, who contributed to the original Misa. 

Franklin Martinez

Franklin was born on 4th July 1986, in León. His parents are Rosa Eligia Méndez Torrez, housewife and Pedro Pablo Martínez, songwriter and composer, who devoted much of his life to music, popularly known as "El Guadalupe". From a young age (16), Franklin started to play music with the support of his father, learning to play the guitar and other musical instruments. He studied at the Unite-León University in 2004. In his spare time, Franklin writes songs with different themes, and his passion is historical Nicaraguan folk music. At university, he was a member of the ‘Music Estudiantina Group’ - participating in different inter-university culture and art festivals (FICCUA). Key events include:

  • 2007, Caritas El Salvador, representing Department of Culture, University Estudiantina, Unite – León;
  • 2008, he obtained a Diploma of recognition to the group "We Are Latinos ", and obtained second place for a song at a Cultural Festival held in homage to the father of the Sandinista Revolution, Comandante Carlos Fonseca Amador;
  • Participated in FICCUA Guatemala City (representing the Unite – León, Department of Culture, University Estudiantina);
  • Youth Exchange Association (ASIJUL). Exchange Hamburg-León. Representing the city of León, Nicaragua in the city of Hamburg, Germany;
  • 2011, FICCUA Panama City 2011 (representing the Unite – León, Department of Culture, University Estudiantina).

Luis Ernesto Jarquín Vega

Luis was born on 19th August 1971 in León. His mother is Juana María Vega Flores, and he went to school in the City of Malpaisillo, in the Department of León. In 1982, at the age of 11, he started to become involved with music and entered his first competition, and was awarded first prize – his prize was a trip and stay in Cuba for two months.

Luis studied music in Managua at the ‘conservatorio nacional de música’ from 1990 to 1994, and he is now an arranger and musical producer for different artists, including: Pedro Pablo Martínez Téllez, Henry Brenes, and many others. Luis has played with numerous groups over the years, the most well-known include: Torrente, Banda Brava, Nueva Compañía, Keyla Rodríguez and Son 5.

Currently, Luis works as a professor of music at UNAN University in León. He is also director of   Estudiantina Universitaria, and has represented the University at a number of inter-university festivals of ‘Cultura y Arte ( FICCUA)’ in Central America. Luis has also participated in a tour of Norway with the singer and composer Pedro Pablo Martínez Téllez ‘EL Guadalupano”, where they performed in 10 different cities. Luis currently leads the group Bochinche Tropical.

The Oxford León Association and Trust

The Oxford León Association and Trust is open to all members of the public and promotes and maintains friendship between the citizens of Oxford and León. The Association facilitates visits and delegations between the two cities, fostering dialogue between councillors and local officials, and it also raises awareness amongst the people of Oxford about the life of people in León.

The Oxford León Association and Trust continues to campaign and generate funds at a community level and is a registered charity (Registered Charity Number: 294149).  The funds raised in Oxford are dedicated to social projects in León, such as education, health and other public infrastructure. OLAT supports projects that benefit poor and marginalized groups in León.

Oxford Twin City Links

The Oxford León Association and Trust is supported by Oxford City Council and is one of five twin cities in Oxford. Twin city links give citizens the chance to engage with other cultures and ways of life, and make these experiences more accessible through established contacts and networks in the linked cities. They also bring benefit to cities through knowledge-sharing activities, where professionals can learn from how problems are tackled in other countries. The five cities are Bonn, Grenoble, Leiden, León, and Perm.

Organising Committee

To ensure the funds raised are managed in transparent and accountable way, a panel of supporters will provide oversight, and produce a financial report about the amount of funds raised and how funds were spent, based on receipted expenditure. The panel members, are:

  • Jenny HoustonSecretary, Oxford León Association and Trust
  • Tim ForsterTreasurer, Oxford León Association and Trust
  • John TannerChair, Oxford León Association and Trust
  • David Preston Member, Oxford León Association and Trust                                        

If further information is required about the panel members, please feel free to get in touch with the main contact person through the Crowdfunding website. We will endeavour to respond to you within 3-days.

Detailed BudgetGBP
International flight:  León - Mexico - Heathrow (2 people)2,450
Transportation: Local travel (airport drop offs and pick-ups)375
Visa: Including admin and collection costs325
Subsistence: Meals & spending money in UK (two weeks)1,125
Contingency: Crowdfunding fees and contingency fund725

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