Get To Know Us

Who is ETCA?

Our Vision & Mission

The El Transito Centro de Artes (ETCA) believes in the power of individuals to make positive change within their community. By working with the people of El Transito, ETCA will assist in the development of skills and talent to promote self-sustainability. The Center will be a respite of strength by providing individuals with an oasis of unity, encouragement and instruction; empowering the community to progress and sustain through personal ability and aspirations.

Our Mission is to teach, empower and encourage the community of El Transito through arts, crafts and other creative expressions. ETCA is committed to helping improve lives while encouraging self-sustainability. We complete our mission by producing fashionable goods and providing services desired by the global and local community.

Our History

Founder, Julie Sim Edwards
Founder, Julie Sim Edwards

Julie Sim Edwards founded the El Transito Centro De Artes (ETCA) in 2007. She unintentionally stumbled upon the village of El Transito while looking for oceanfront land to build her family’s vacation home in 2006.  Too dark to drive back to Managua alone, she was offered to stay with a fisherman’s family, and the next morning, she was privy to the level of stark poverty in the community.  She realized in order to help the community she would have to address their needs rather than just offer temporary relief through charitable donations.  Consequently, she purchased a small 1/3 acre lot in the hub of the fishing village with the goal to build a small arts learning center.  She planned to offer opportunities for the villagers to learn skills or develop talents necessary to build sustainable businesses.

Since then, Julie has been completing different parts of the center, including a library and learning center, and continues to teach the women how to make marketable items that can be sold for profit. She also works with other organizations in Nicaragua to offer various workshops to introduce and teach new skills.  It is the founder’s objective to propel ETCA and its community to become more than simply self-sustaining.  Sharing God’s Love keeps her focused on the good work in El Transito, Nicaragua.

The ETCA Community

ETCA employs a team of women.  These women work together daily to design and sew, mentor children and protect their coastal environment.  They are changing their future and the future of their community.

Meet the Women of ETCA