When the Sandinista revolution swept Nicaragua in 1979, a group of people gathered in Sheffield to discuss ways of supporting the country's fight to build a peaceful, socialist democracy.
They established links in Nicaragua, in particular with the people of Esteli, the country's third-largest city. As a result they formed the Sheffield Esteli Society.
In the early years Nicaragua was struggling to defend its revolution, facing organised and armed attacks from the terrorist Contras who were armed and supported by the United States.
It is estimated that 10,000 people died in the revolution which overthrew the Somoza dictatorship. Another 30,000 died in the conflict with the Contras.
Today Nicaragua is at peace but remains one of the poorest countries in Latin America.
But the link established in 1979 between the people of Sheffield and the people of Esteli not only survives, it thrives.
In 1984, five years after the friendship was founded, Sheffield City Council signed a declaration of friendship with Esteli, and formal twinning followed in 1987.
The Esteli links were extended to include Feliu in Spain, Delft in Holland and Bielefeld in Germany, forming a European network of communities working together to help Esteli.
Projects have included water supply, sanitation, a new library and educational and environmental projects. The European activists work directly with local people and community groups.
In 1998 Hurricane Mitch hit central America, killing thousands. An emergency appeal in Sheffield raised £13,000 for relief for Nicaragua.
Today support from Sheffield City Council through its twinning arrangement has fallen by the wayside, victim of the financial maelstrom inflicted on all Britain's major cities by the coalition government.
But the friendships thrive.
People living in individual streets in Sheffield have formed friendship links with people from parts of the city of Esteli.
Residents of Freedom Road in Walkley in Sheffield "twinned" with the district of Monte Sinai in Esteli.
In May last year the Sheffield group was host to a visit by musician Jose Alberto Velasquez, who teaches at a free music school for children in Esteli. He played at a community garden party staged by the Freedom Road residents.
The friendship link has also crossed generations. Sheffield now has a Students for Esteli group. It raises funds for projects at Esteli University and every year organises a cultural exchange trip.
The students' group said: "We run a variety of events throughout the year to raise money for the exchange trip and projects at the university in Esteli. Our current projects are furthering the cultural exchange and making university education accessible to poorer members of the population."
Sheffield students teach English and there are cultural exchanges with their Esteli counterparts. They jointly run workshops to learn more about each other's cultures and make new friends.
Next week the two groups will be staging Sheffield-Esteli Week, from Monday March 11 to Saturday March 16.
The six-day programme of events is a celebration of the 34-year link which began with the Nicaraguan revolution in 1979.
The programme includes mural painting, cookery workshop, a public meeting with Nicaragua chargee d'affaires Guisell Morales-Echaverry as guest speaker, coffee tasting, salsa workshop, a documentary film, music night, a ceilidh run by the students group, and the events culminate with "An Evening with Esteli" party with live music, dance, Nicaraguan food and a live link-up to a simultaneous party in Esteli on the Saturday night. Most of the events are free.
The future of the friendship is secure.
Sheffield Esteli Society said: "We continue to work with the other twin towns on a child citizenship project, as well as on free community music classes for children in Esteli."
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