Bainbridge Ometepe Sister Islands

Building Friendships since 1986

Ometepe office

Dora on BainbridgeAlthough the Sister Islands Association is an all-volunteer organization on Bainbridge, we do have a small paid staff on Ometepe.

Manager: Dora (“Dorita”) Gutierrez Traña

Dorita, an English teacher at the high school in Altagracia, has been our office manager since 1999. She works with community members on Ometepe to develop project proposals and to carry out the projects funded by our organization. Dora is a superb cultural ambassador who helps people on both of our islands understand one another. She has visited Bainbridge Island seven times.

Office Volunteer: Amanda Witt

My name is Amanda Witt and I am very excited to be the new office volunteer for BOSIA! I arrived on Ometepe about two months ago and have loved getting to know the compassionate people and beautiful places here, as well as seeing the amazing impacts that different BOSIA committees have made.

My interest in Bainbridge’s sister island began back in third grade, when I was in Alice Mendoza’s class at Wilkes Elementary School. Taking part in the Kids Can Make a Difference calendar project sparked my enthusiasm for Ometepe, its rich culture, and its kinship with Bainbridge (shout out to the June 2003 calendar page!). I was lucky to be able to come down to Ometepe twice as a student delegate during high school and stay with wonderful families in the communities of San Pedro and Sintiope. Their kindness and warmth inspired me to apply for the office volunteer position after I graduated from the University of Washington with degrees in Biology and Spanish.

In my free time here, you can find me biking, walking, or hiking around the volcanos of Ometepe, teaching some of the neighborhood kids English classes, painting with watercolors, visiting and exploring with my old host families, playing “Guess the Occasion” for the never-ending bounty of noise-filled parades that pass the office, embarking on journeys around the rest of Nicaragua (who knew that in the mountains up north you’re not sweating 24/7?!), and hanging out and cooking with Ometepinos. It’s hard to be bored here; living and working on Ometepe forces a new adventure upon you each day!

I love working with people from both Ometepe and Bainbridge, and seeing the passion that both islands have for making positive changes and building lasting friendships. It’s not uncommon for an Ometepino to approach me and tell me about a Bainbridge student that stayed with them 10 years ago and ask if I know how they’re doing, or point out a project that BOSIA sponsored in a school or community here. There’s something really remarkable and heartwarming about living in a location where the most widely-known and admired place in the United States is not New York City nor Los Angeles, but a small island in the Pacific Northwest that has a great capacity for change.

Contacting our office

The office is on the main street in Altagracia. In keeping with the Nicaraguan custom of citing addresses as distances from key locations, the office is del juzgado, una cuadra al norte (from the judge’s office, one block north).  The phone number from the United States is 011-505-2569-4428. On Ometepe, it’s 2569-4428.

Postal mail can be sent to Islas Hermanas, Apartado #20, Isla de Ometepe, Moyogalpa, Nicaragua. Bainbridge Islanders who are writing to a friend in care of our office should write the name and town of the recipient on an inner package. You can include several of these letters in one large outer envelope.

Ometepe residents who want to write to friends on Bainbridge can leave letters at the office.