Craft for Community was dreamed up over coffee in a small cafe in Wicker Park, Chicago on a typically gray day in 2006. It started as two friends daydreaming about living in and helping a community in Latin America, and has turned into marriage, two kids, and a unique, project-based Spanish school and volunteer center in one of the most beautiful and peaceful places in the Americas. On a trip through Central America in 2013, their first to El Tránsito, Jared and Jennifer were caught in a rainstorm and took refuge in a handmade shelter and ended up talking with a group of fishermen for a while. Two years later, Jared and Jennifer bought the property that Craft for Community sits on and started building the Lodge a year later. The Lodge took over 7 months to build and was designed on a piece of scratch paper by Jennifer and Jared. The Lodge was completely built by members of the El Tránsito community.
Our Commitment to the Community
Since 2016, when Craft for Community broke ground in El Tránsito, we have stayed true to our commitment of supporting the community by using only local employees. All twelve of the staff who built the lodge were born less than a mile from the property and chances are, guests will meet them in town during their stay.
While finding effective Spanish teachers in such a small community can be a challenge, Craft for Community is currently in the process of identifying local talented, motivated students to provide scholarships for their work in the universities so they can come back and work full-time at Craft for Community as Spanish teachers.
The first people we hired were Emir and Fran (see Our Team) page, who started off with Craft for Community as a caretaker and nanny. Since then, they have shown an amazing work ethic and now help to manage both the property and the logistics of the organization.