Our Sister Parish in Jiñocuao

Our Map of Jinocuao

Sister Parish (sĭs'tər păr'ĭsh) n. 1. Accompaniment. 2. A journey on the side of the poor. 3. A relationship of equals that nourishes and challenges. 4. An invitation to be vulnerable. 5. Solidarity. 6. A bridge of prayers and friendship.

Takoma Park Presbyterian Church has had a sister parish relationship with the Nicaraguan community of Jiñocuao since 1992. Over the years, 47 members of the TPPC community have traveled to Nicaragua to spend time in Jiñocuao, either through one of the seven official delegations, while traveling independently or with other groups. Fourteen people from Jiñocuao have come to Takoma Park as part of three official delegations. The last delegation visited Takoma Park in May 2011 - a report on this delegation (PDF) is linked to this website. Pictures from this visit are also available.

Jiñocuao is a very small community located in northern Nicaragua, near the Honduran border. It is on the map here, but you are unlikely to find it on other maps. For reference the nearest large town in Somotillo.

There is an archive of articles that have appeared on the TPPC website since 1999; they chronicle the history of our involvement with the Jiñocuao community.

Past letters from the Jiñocuao community to TPPC are available on this website. Pictures from our last delegation to Jiñocuao are also available.

For more information on our relationship with Jiñocuao, contact the committee through jinocuao@takomaparkpc.org.

September is a Month for Jiñocuao

Last year, TPPC Session established a Mission Offering Calendar to focus on and support a different mission each month. San José Church, our sister parish in Jiñocuao, Nicaragua, was named the focus of TPPC mission giving in September. After consulting with the leadership of San Josè Church, the Jiñocuao Committee of TPPC proposed that funds raised will be used to support home gardening, education and, especially, a delegation from Jiñocuao to Takoma Park in spring 2018. Our long-standing relationship with San José Church is one of the many things that make TPPC special, and we hope you will join with us in keeping this relationship strong and vibrant.

To contribute, put a check (made out to TPPC with the notation “Jiñocuao Fund”) in the manila envelope found in the pews in the collection plate. If you would like more information on Jiñocuao or the September mission offering, please contact the committee at jinocuao@takomaparkpc.org.

Water harvesting and gardening project produces fruits and vegetables in Jiñocuao

The Jiñocuao Committee of Takoma Park Presbyterian Church received this report from Julio Huete of the San José Church, our sister parish in Jiñocuao, Nicaragua.

With the thousand dollars received from Takoma Park Presbyterian Church last year for the water harvesting and gardening project, five members of the Jiñocuao church have benefited (one in El Papalón, two in La Ceiba and two Morazán). Four members already have their cistern to store water collected from the gutters on their roofs and with their gardens; the fifth member is in the process of building his cisterns.

They have planted eggplants, tomatoes, watermelons, papayas, yucca and sweet potatos. Some of these gardeners are already producing fruits thanks to the rainwater collected in the cisterns.

Each of the five persons was given $200 dollars and will repay 50 percent by February 2018. This project is showing good results in view of the need for food in families and as an alternative to drought.

On the other hand, the rains have been good, and our river has water, the water wells are already recovering and families are planting maize and legumes for daily sustenance.

Greetings to the Jiñocuao Committee and to the church. We hope to see you soon again. This Sunday (June 4) we celebrated the feast of Pentecost, it was a very happy occasion and animated by the presence of the Holy Spirit.

Brothers and sisters, many greetings and may our God fill you with health and spiritual blessings. For the committee and the community, your brother Julio. Receive kisses and hugs from all the members of our church. Until next time, beloved brothers and sisters.

Translated by David Olson

TPPC Helps Teacher Advance Career and Stay in Jiñocuao

Pablo Antonio Díaz Herradora’s dream is to stay in Jiñocuao and teach the children of his community. And, thanks to Takoma Park Presbyterian Church, that dream is coming true.

In 2013, TPPC had a campaign that raised $6,000 to support the building of a classroom in Jiñocuao's secondary school and a delegation from TPPC traveled to Jiñocuao to help build the classroom. Before the school was built, students had to travel to Somotillo, 15 kilometers away, to attend secondary school. Many poor families could not afford the transport.

In 2014, TPPC had another campaign to raise money for a scholarship program that supported three volunteer teachers for a year to continue their studies, so they could get their diploma and, therefore, a teacher's salary paid by the government. Some of these volunteers had been teaching for years without a salary because the government will only pay salaries to credentialed teachers.

Pablo, 22 years old, was one of three Jiñocuao teachers who were paid $60 per month by the TPPC scholarship to defray the cost of their education at Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Nicaragua, León. Pablo, who is single and lives with his family in Jiñocuao (his mother died in 2008), used the money to pay for tuition, books and transportation.

Pablo teaches science, Spanish and literature at Jiñocuao high school. He loves teaching and expects to earn his bachelor's degree in 2016. Pablo worked at the school for more than two years without a salary but now has a diploma which allowed him to start getting a government salary. He hopes to advance his career by earning a master's degree, which is very rare in Nicaragua.

"After I get my bachelor's degree this year, my dream is to stay here and work in my own community," said Pablo. "Thanks to Takoma Park Presbyterian Church for trusting us and giving us this opportunity to be teaching in a classroom and not be sitting under the shade of a tree."

"When I started studying at the university, I was like a ship in the ocean moving from one side to the other with no target and no goal but, with the opportunity that you have given us, we now know where we are going. We are really pleased and we are thankful for all the support you have given us."

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