SOLA is holding its first AGM on Tuesday 27th November in Committee Room 2

at the Civic Offices, Euclid St, (SN1 2JH)

Please note that the meeting will start at 7:00pm prompt.

Dr Holly Ryan has been invited to the meeting.

Holly is a lecturer in International Political Sociology at Queen Mary University of London and she is currently working on a project exploring international friendship, solidarity and twinning practice.
She would like to speak to us about our experiences, so that Swindon and Ocotal might feature in her project.

Jorge Calderone Snr


It is with great sadness that we hear of the news that Dr Jorge’s father has passed away.

It was always a pleasure and a privilege to meet him when we visited Ocotal.

He was highly respected and loved by the Ocotal community.

We send our sincere condolences to Jorge, Alba and all the Calderone family.


Profesor Jorge Calderón hijo dilecto de Ocotal, Octubre 2018

Dedicado con mucho cariño para este gran ser humano que deja un imenso vacio en el corazón de su familia y de quienes tuvimos la oportunidad de conocerlo. Gracias por su legado profesor Jorge Calderón Gutiérrez, verdadero ciudadano de valer.Reitero mis condolencias a la familia!!!

Posted by Que pasa en el Norte Nicaragua on Tuesday, 30 October 2018


Minutes of last meeting


Click on the link below to download the minutes of our last meeting

October 2nd 2018

Current Status

Swindon Ocotal Link Association is our new official name and we continue to meet every 2 – 3 months to discuss the way forward and to maintain our close links with our friends in Ocotal.

We will endeavour to post regular updates and news of any planned events,

SOL Charity to close


Swindon Ocotal Link (SOL) has decided to bring to an end its charitable and fundraising status.

Mr Bruce Clarke, Chair of SOL, said, “We began 33 years ago as the Central American Study Group to raise awareness of the plight of people living in Central America. Later, we became the Thamesdown Nicaragua Link Association. When the Borough Council set up a twinning link with Ocotal, Nicaragua, and when the Borough became a unitary authority, we were the first community organisation to adopt Swindon in its title, which became Swindon Ocotal Link.”

The twinning link is now 27 years old, and has seen visitors from Ocotal take part in many of Swindon’s special events and celebrations, school visits, links with Rotary groups, churches and organisations . “What SOL has achieved is remarkable, more than 120 people have visited Ocotal over this time, including two Mayors, all at their own expense” added Mr. Clarke.

The SOL charity raises on average £4,000 a year which supports 30 young people with their school and college costs, an old peoples’ home, basic medical support and help for a large pre-school centre for the poorest of Ocotal. The highlight of SOL activity came in 1998 during the Hurricane Mitch disaster. Over £27,000 was raised to support rebuilding projects in Ocotal and RAF Lyneham transported 7 tons of aid, collected in Swindon, direct to Nicaragua.

Mr. Clarke pointed out that their cash reserves will provide for another two or three years of financial support for projects in Ocotal. “Whilst we are giving up our fundraising and charitable status our friendship continues as does our support for the Borough Council’s twinning.”

At the general meeting of the 4th of July 2017, held in the civic offices of Swindon Borough Council, members agreed that the administrative demands of running the charity and annual fundraising was not sustainable and following consultation with Fundación SOL, based in Ocotal, there was unanimous support to move towards a more informal link to be called Swindon Ocotal Link Association.

The meeting recorded that nationally SOL is highly regarded and is seen as a model twinning organisation that embraces both the civic and community aspects of international twinning. “The friendships that have been created over the years will continue for many years to come,” said Mr Clarke.