From the Board of Directors
ATRAVES was born in 2004 out of a collaboration between Nicaraguan and U.S. leaders seeking to deepen international solidarity in the service of Nicaraguan communities. This cross-border partnership has been central to our efforts to build connections among communities, organizations and people worldwide to better support development, health and educational efforts in Nicaragua. Our years of partnership have been driven by our mission to support local and autonomous approaches to development. We founded ATRAVES U.S. (a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization) in 2007 to allow us to strengthen our work in partnership with ATRAVES Nicaragua. ATRAVES has long recognized that it is the members of the Nicaraguan communities where we work, the talented staff in Managua, as well as volunteer partners and donors that have defined the organization and been integral to our shared successes. Between 2007 and 2013, ATRAVES U.S. raised more than $600,000. Our Executive Director, Brady Dunklee, worked without compensation throughout his tenure. This enabled ATRAVES to maintain a small overhead and send 97% of all funds to Nicaragua to make ATRAVES programming possible. With these funds, we paid 9 Nicaraguan staff members based in Managua, built a clinic facility, developed a thriving community health worker program, provided after-school educational programming for neighborhood youth, began a community plant nursery, and organized an adult vocational program. ATRAVES U.S. also supported ATRAVES Nicaragua by providing opportunities for over 400 international volunteers to visit Nicaragua and collaborate directly with local people on community projects.
In September 2013, Brady announced his resignation, which prompted the U.S. Board of Directors to reassess the the organization's sustainability. As the organization grew over the years, it became increasingly challenging for our fundraising efforts to keep pace with program expenses. One of the primary challenges posed was funding a replacement U.S. Executive Director. Brady's resignation also elucidated the substantial challenges associated with coordinating two separate organizational entities operating as one, especially in regard to the distinct cultural environments and governmental responsibilities. The difficult decision to cease operations was made in light of these realities and with the intention of retaining fidelity to our mission of sustainability and autonomy.
We recognized that the shutdown of ATRAVES U.S. brought an end to our ability to facilitate volunteer opportunities in and support for the communities which we have all grown to love. However, there are many other opportunities to make a difference in support of Nicaragua. Some of the organizations we recommend include FriendsNE, ProNica, Esperanza En Accion and Jubilee House. Those who are interested in continuing to support Barrio Camilo Ortega financially may be interested in contacting the Foundation for Social Responsibility, which has funded Escuela H.D. in Barrio Camilo Ortega since 2007.
Thank you for the opportunity to work across borders with you over the past years,
The Board of Directors of ATRAVES US Inc.