My work with International Development Agencies and Latin American NGOs
CHRISTIAN AID 1990 - 1995
I started working in international development in 1990 with Christian Aid. I spent two years in Fundraising and then worked with the Central America team from 1993 to 1995. That was when I got my first direct experience of visiting projects, meeting community groups and working with NGOs in El Salvador and Nicaragua.
At a time when the region was emerging from a long period of civil war, I struggled to make sense of the complex power relationships between NGOs, community groups and political parties. As someone who was more used to a desk-bound job in London, I decided that I needed some direct field experience and so left Christian Aid to work with Progressio as a development volunteer in Honduras.
PROGRESSIO 1995 - 1999
Initially I was based with a farmers' association called ADROH (Association for the Development of Western Honduras). Then after two years, I moved to a national NGO network called ASONOG. Through these two organisations, I got experience at the grassroots, working with subsistence farmers on fundraising and report-writing, and also at a more global and political level, working through ASONOG with the Jubilee debt cancellation movement.
CAFOD 1999 - 2015
In 1999, I returned to the UK to work as the Central America and Mexico Project Officer of CAFOD (Catholic Agency for Overseas Development).
I worked on the rehabilitation phase of Hurricane Mitch, 1999 - 2003, the earthquake reconstruction process in El Salvador, 2001 - 2003, and the Unearth Justice campaign which focused on improving the practices of the gold mining industry in Honduras, from 2004 onwards. This time coincided with a move towards the decentralisation of CAFOD's international programmes and, in 2006, I moved to Nicaragua to set up CAFOD's first office in Latin America.
In 2008, I returned to CAFOD in London as the Latin America Communications Officer and this was where I gained most experience as a translator and interpreter. I accompanied visitors from Latin America on speaker tours to the UK and organised visits for groups to projects overseas. I also volunteered for seven years with the Archbishop Romero Trust as the editor of the newsletter, Romero News.
FREELANCE 2015 - today
Since 2015, I have been living in Scotland and working as a freelance translator and interpreter. I am also a trained counselor and psychotherapist and so, alongside my translation work, I run self-awareness and empowerment workshops for groups in Latin America and Africa.