I remember the first time I visited Chacraseca in 1998 - the summer before Hurricane Mitch hit. It was a very different community than it is today. The only buildings in the central area were the church and a little storage room where our groups rolled out our sleeping bags at night. And after Hurricane Mitch hit Chacraseca in October of '98, things got even worse - roads were impassable, schools were unusable, crops were destroyed, and hundreds of the 5,000-6,000 residents of Chacraseca were left to construct small lean-to houses, made of plastic tarps...
It is with heartfelt appreciation for her years of service that the Board of Directors announces the retirement of Leslie Penrose, founder and Executive Director of JustHope, as of September 1, 2017. Leslie has graciously included all of us in her dreams and vision for partnering with monetarily poor but spiritually rich communities in Nicaragua. We have all been changed by the relationships we’ve built and the progress that we’ve been part of on this journey.
JustHope is the dream of one that has become the vision of many. Together as partners we form a strong shell to nurture and grow the organization in this time of transition. We are positioned to emerge into a new phase of exciting possibilities, but we must all care for and support the vision with our time, talents, and resources.
JustHope Board of Directors
“To think that one small heart can experience so much, oh God, so much suffering and so much love. I am so grateful to You, for having chosen my heart, in these times, to experience all the things it has experienced.” - Etty Hillesum
This quote captures far better than my own words can, the mixture of profound joy, deep gratitude, and a bit of tender sorrow that I feel as I share with you that as of August 31, I am retiring as the Executive Director of JustHope. As that time approaches, I wanted to personally share the “what’s next” with you – what’s next for me and what’s next for JustHope!
JustHope Partners are collaborating to remodel the community clinic in Chacraseca.
The community clinic in Chacraseca, Nicaragua was originally constructed in the early 90's by volunteer mission organizations. Since then, limited resources and the need for more space has resulted in several sub-standard expansions and "re-muddles" leaving it over-crowded and deteriorating.
A few years ago, a group of 270 farmers from the farthest parts of Chacraseca approached JustHope with a request...help us buy a tractor. As Chacraseca is mostly subsistence farmers, being able to plant on time is a necessity. Everything from local microcredit businesses to the hardware store are impacted by the success of each seasons' crops.
Since its purchase, the tractor has helped hundreds of farmers clear, plow, and plant their fields through a rental program. The rental program allows farmers to rent the tractor per day and not one farmer has to bear the cost of owning it. The farmers pay a fee per manzana (1.74 acres) to rent the tractor.
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