Our Story

JustHope’s founder and Executive Director, Leslie Penrose first visited Central America in 1986 and quickly committed to developing a lasting connection with local groups to address poverty and capacity-building.

In 1996 after years of country-and-community-hopping throughout Central America, Leslie and a small group of companions made the decision to create a long-term relationship with a single community in Nicaragua — a community with whom they could wrestle and hope their way into something deeper, something truer, something more mutual; a community who rather than a charity project for them, could become a partner with them in the work of justice. 


Across the years the relationship grew and developed as both groups risked moving beyond paternalism to solidarity. And along the way, other groups saw what was possible and worked with Leslie to create their own partnerships of solidarity and hope.

In 2007, Leslie left the pastoral ministry to pursue the work of creating and nurturing global partnerships full time. And in June of 2007, a small committed core group of people invested their hopes, their hearts, their hands, and their resources in birthing the dream that beyond paternalism, partnership is possible; that beyond colonialism, covenant can thrive; that beyond just the hope of another way is the dream of JustHope: a world interconnected by cross-cultural partnerships of mutuality and trust that are working cooperatively to inspire hope, increase justice, and nurture the common well-being of the world.

Read more about JustHope's history here.

Read some of our travelers' post-PartnerTrip reflections here .

Picture Justice, Picture Hope