It was during the mid-1990s when Sociology professor Nancy Taylor first joined her dear friend, Margaret “Peg” Rigg at a ProNica planning meeting in Florida. Nancy’s curiosity had long been piqued by Peg’s stories upon return from trips to Nicaragua. Sitting among the other activists and listening to reports of the latest challenges and triumphs of the grassroots partners in Nicaragua, Nancy’s curiosity quickly deepened into a steadfast resolve to join the efforts.
During a 1998 meeting, a particular challenge caught Nancy’s attention: the high turnover rate among talented Program Coordinators only compensated with basic living stipends. ProNica had just hired Lillian Hall as the new Coordinator, a Quaker with a Cornell agronomy degree who had been in Nicaragua from 1984 volunteering with peasant farmers. Hoping to retain Lillian, and knowing the time and sensitivity required to build genuine trust and mutual respect among the partners, Nancy pledged monthly donations that would increase the Coordinator stipend into a modest salary.
Indeed, Lillian would stay on for the next 14 years, fortifying long-term partnerships, doggedly raising awareness among North Americans, and designing high quality solidarity based educational immersion programs. Nancy tends to heap credit on Peg, Lillian and others, but it’s hard to imagine how many saved lives are linked directly to Nancy’s incredible spirit of generosity. Now in her 80s and simplifying her life, Nancy must pass the salary-funding torch on to other ProNica supporters.
It’s impossible to adequately express gratitude to Nancy for her shared dreams with Nicaraguans over all these years. Muchas gracias, Nancy Taylor. Please accept our sincerest appreciation. We cherish you!