Our Mission

The mission of the Friends of San Juan de Oriente is to promote friendship and intercultural understanding between the people of Sacramento, California, and the people of San Juan de Oriente, Nicaragua. We foster an enriching cultural experience between these two communities, and contribute to the economic development of San Juan de Oriente through the proceeds of the sale of their pottery in the greater Sacramento area.


What We Do
The Friends of San Juan de Oriente is a good will, fair trade organization dedicated to improving the lives of the people of San Juan de Oriente. We select and purchase this amazing pottery directly from the artisans and sell it at Sacramento art fairs, colleges, festivals, and church bazaars, and ensure that all proceeds are channeled directly back to the San Juan de Oriente community.

Our Founder

In 1986, Friends of San Juan de Oriente founder Don Coan made a trip to Nicaragua to serve as an election observer in Managua.  After visiting nearby San Juan de Oriente and learning of the beautiful pottery there, he made a personal commitment to help the community by sharing their amazing artwork with the world.

In 1988 Don formed the Friends of San Juan de Oriente, a Sacramento, California, non-profit organization dedicated to strengthening the people-to-people relationship between these two communities.  In his vision, the Friends would contribute to the economic enrichment of the San Juan community by returning proceeds from pottery sales to them for scholarships, infrastructure, and varied cultural projects.

Upcoming 2022

Pottery Sales Events


November 5 & 6     

      Carmichael Presbyterian Church

      5645 Marconi Avenue

      Carmichael              10:00 - 2:00

November 12    

      American River Community Church

      3300 Walnut Avenue

      Carmichael               9:00 - 3:00

November 27    

      Trinity Cathedral

      2620 Capitol Avenue

      Sacramento              10:00 - 5:00

November 27    

      Fremont Presbyterian Church

      5770 Carlson Drive

      Sacramento              9:00 - 2:00

December 10    

      Sparrow Art Gallery in the Art House

      Second Saturday

      1021 R Street

      Sacramento               5:00 - 8:00 pm

December 17    

      Drake's: The Barn

      985 Riverfront Street

      West Sacramento      10:00 - 5:00

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       Gerardo Benkovich

We miss our beloved friend and colleague, Gerardo Benkovich.

Click here for information about Gerardo's life and passing.

Don Coan, Founder

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