Jubilee House Community (JHC) is a non-sectarian faith-based community based in North Carolina whose nonprofit Center for Development in Central America has for over twenty years been assisting agricultural cooperatives in Nicaragua to form and become productive and profitable.
In 2011, Equity Trust made JHC a short-term loan for a project with 2,500 small farmers who have organized themselves into production cooperatives, to help these farmers grow and sell a harvest of organic peanuts. After that loan was repaid from the successful sale of the peanuts, primarily to cooperative businesses in the US and Europe, Equity Trust made a second loan to JHC in 2012, to refinance a high-interest loan they had taken from a Nicaraguan microfinance institution to purchase machinery for a cooperative textile factory. Doing so enabled JHC to free up funds for the organization’s program work in support of sustainable agriculture in Nicaragua. In 2015, we made a loan to enable the farmer production coops’ marketing coop, the Cooperative of Organic and Traditional Producers and Exporters of Nicaragua, to process a sesame harvest while it works on acquiring and renovating the plant it uses into a world-class facility. In 2017 and 2018, we made loans to support the peanut farmers, and our 2019 loan helped farmers introduce turmeric as a commercial crop, further diversifying their business.
We help communities. We do not choose individuals and help them. We believe life is sustainable within communities; therefore, we help them organize, if needed, into democratically elected entities (which means we do not go into a community and appoint leaders or work with self-appointed leaders).
We help these communities identify their needs and priorities so that we are not imposing our “outside” value or ideas on them. We help them plan, identify resources, and carry out their goals. It is their job to create their own lives…[W]e want the communities to become self-sufficient and sustainable.
–JUBILEE HOUSE COMMUNITY