Nicaragua is one of the poorest countries in the Americas. It is also poor in natural resources and the target of frequent hurricanes, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. Nicaragua became a democracy in 1984. In 1987, during the Contra war, a small group of citizens of Richland Center, Wisconsin, contacted the Nicaraguan Embassy in Washington, DC with a view to establishing a constructive and positive relationship with the people of Nicaragua through a sister city arrangement.
The resulting relationship with Santa Teresa, named the Richland Center-Santa Teresa Sister City Project, SCP for short, focused on friendship, information about Central America, and aid.