Translators Find New Role in Chacraseca

January 22, 2019


Creating and fostering partnerships between Nicaragua and the United States is a key piece of the organization JustHope’s mission. For the past 11 years, JustHope has connected U.S.-based organizations, churches, universities and colleges to the communities of Chacraseca and La Flor. In 2017, JustHope hosted 20 trips with 300 Americans, who came to build relationships with these communities while carrying out projects in the areas of education, agriculture, health, and social enterprise. 

When unrest broke out last April, the organization – as many others – decided to temporarily cancel trips to Nicaragua until it was safe for partners and U.S.-based staff to return. Nevertheless, it recognized the importance of retaining a presence in its partner communities. JustHope’s Executive Director Jennifer Payton explained, “We believe we are needed now more than ever. In the face of uncertainty and instability, our work provides stability and continuity.”

JustHope was equally committed to keeping its León-based office open and its Nicaraguan employees employed. With thousands of Nicaraguan workers losing their jobs and struggling financially, it seemed a small but worthwhile contribution to make sure JustHope’s employees were still pulling a salary and providing for their families.

JustHope had to get a little creative, however, to keep its three full-time translators busy. No partner trips to Nicaragua meant not much needs for translators. Instead, Julio, Francis and Roberto offered to teach English classes in Chacraseca where JustHope already provides lessons in art, music, dancing, and sports.

To carry this out, JustHope partnered with FNE International, who is also a U.S.-based nonprofit working in Chacraseca. FNE operates a well-equipped, conveniently located library that provides an ideal venue for JustHope to deliver lessons in concert with FNE's ongoing English program. In doing so, both organizations maximize their impact in the community while minimizing redundancies, and JustHope’s translators are staying busy until travel resumes!

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