First Complete Periodic Table of elements in Papiamentu


Gèrtrude Franca

Local organization

JCI Creative Leaders In Curaçao

National organization

Dutch Caribbean


Gèrtrude Franca


From November 30, 2017 to April 29, 2019

Target population


Target avg age


People impacted


Sustainable Development Goal

Quality Education

Development stage

Education and Economic Empowerment


The primary purpose of this project is to organize a press conference to introduce (launch?) on an international level the first complete periodic table in Papiamentu and also to encourage the development of scientific concepts in the native language of Curaçao, Aruba, and Bonaire, Papiamentu.
UNESCO and the United Nations General assembly have proclaimed 2019 as the International Year of the Periodic Table (IYPT2019) in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements. This is a worldwide initiative to highlight the importance of the Periodic Table. In more than 50 countries celebrations are taking place to commemorate this occasion, with Jamaica as the only Caribbean country participating. The announcement of this launch will be great international exposure for our country but also for our language Papiamentu.


Papiamentu is a young language that is still in its development state, especially when it comes to science. Many scientific concepts either still don’t have a name or are being translated.
This particular development of the periodic table in Papiamentu started in 2017 with the proposal of 3 students of Skol Avansá Integrá Humanista (SKAIH), the only secondary school in Papiamentu on Curaçao. These students requested my help as their teacher to assist them with the translation of the periodic table to Papiamentu so they wouldn’t have to use the Dutch version anymore. Ultimately, the main goal is to use this new periodic table in the secondary educational system in Curaçao, Aruba, and Bonaire.
As JCI Organization we committed to help achieve the sustainable development goals by 2030. With this project, we will contribute to the encouragement of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) #4 Quality Education for all. SDG 4 is essential to the other Sustainable Development Goals, without mother tongue-based multilingual education the other 16 goals will remain unachievable. For this reason, it is essential to development of educational materials, especially in scientific fields.


Many persons started emailing the National Organization and the JCI CLIC chapter. It was the First time that JCI CLIC as one of the youngest chapters in the National Organization, JCI Dutch Caribbean, executed a project of such magnitude all by themselves.
Because this will be a yearlong celebration, we will have a continued exposé for JCI CLIC in the media both locally and internationally.
This sparked an interest with many scientists with regards to the work that the JCI Organization does.

Because the product (outcome) of this project is something that will have a lasting impact the students and their parents were very excited.

Since this event/ press release these 3 students are acting very motived and involved in Physics and Chemistry classes.

Other students are becoming more aware of everything that the teacher is asking in class with regards to helping out. Students started to take more initiative in STEM classes.

Other STEM related subject teachers joined the movement that the chemistry teacher started at the school, in solidifying all concepts for the STEM subjects. Other local scientists are joining in the process and formed a local “Science League”, where all types of discussion are being held with regards to STEM education.
With this project the opportunity was created to come up with specific names for all of these elements that previously did not have a name in Papiamentu. With the completion of the Periodic Table of elements in Papiamentu, we have reached the point where we now have a name for all existent elements in Papiamentu.
The presentation sparked various debate about the important role of mother/ native language, culture and personal identity.

It was a learning moment for many who are not conscious about the importance of developmental process of a young language, through the discussions that sparked from the presentation. An editor for the magazine "Levende Talen Magazine" in the Netherlands approached of for the purpose of writing an international article on this project to show how the development of the Papiamentu language, with regards to Science, is progressing. An invitation was also extended to the director of the project, as she is directly and actively involved in Science and Education in her daily life, to participate in a International Symposium The role of Languages in Education.

Besides all of this, because of this project we have also gained two new guests that are interested in the creative projects that the JCI CLIC chapter have. These guests have the potential to become a prospect member.


- Create a database with key persons that have the right connections and/or network so the marketing can become more efficient
- Have a more experienced member working side by side with the project director
- Always conduct branding at all events for the chapter. This is one point that could have been better during this press release
- Be on the outlook for more (business) opportunities and more partnership. From one project always new ideas for solutions to other issues that are encountered during project execution

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