Two Stikes . . . home Run
Direct from the field: a live conversation with Karen and Alejandro of la bendición
This week we held a live Direct from the Field webinar conversation with Karen and Alejandro, a family from our newest community, La Bendición, Nicaragua. The morning began with a series of near catastrophes ...
Strike one ... we told them the wrong date.
Strike two ... the power went out.
Then, despite all odds ... we knocked the actual conversation, technical mastery included, outta the park!
Despite the challenges we faced - from tracking down Karen and Alejandro from Karen’s mother's house a town away after we gave them the wrong date for the webinar, to using a back-up generator after the power went out in the office in La Dalia, Nicaragua - miraculously our live chat with Karen and Alejandro, MY OH MY, it couldn’t have gone better.
It was moving to hear Karen and Alejandro’s story in their own words and see the success they have already achieved thanks to your support.
Like this, when we asked what they’d like to share with you:
“We are very grateful to all of you, and all of your support,” answered Alejandro. “You make it possible for me to have a dignified home and a piece of land that I can work and eventually own. I know that with your support and our hard work, we will able to move ahead and prosper in the future.”
The full video recording of our 45 minute conversation is below, plus a transcript of some of our favorite moments!
Let’s start with the story of how your met. Alejandro, how did you meet Karen?
As it is tradition in Nicaragua, I asked for permission to court her. But her parents denied me permission to be her boyfriend. But since it is our right and our freedom, we decided and she agreed to be my girlfriend.
Karen, what did you think of Alejandro, when you met him for the first time?
He was just walking around my house everyday and I never could have imagined that he would ask me. And then he asked me to be his girlfriend, and I agreed.
How did you hear about Agros?
I worked in the El Ojoche (the land on which La Bendición now exists) as a laborer, and then the manager of the farm told us that a group of people were coming who were thinking about buying the farm. That is when I met two people from Agros, Boris and Urania, and they talked to me about the plans for the new community and the plans for buying the land. I really liked what I heard about Agros.
Karen, how has your life changed from before, Now that you work with Agros?
My life has changed a lot. I am part of a Growth Group now, that has helped me a lot (Growth Groups are long-term self-esteem building workshops that engage couples in goal setting and give men and women spaces to meet separately to discuss gender role issues and generate solutions from within).
The school is in the process of being built now so my kids can go to school [within the community]. It has helped as a lot, especially me, because I never went to school I never learned to read or write, but now my kids have the opportunity to go to school and to learn things that I never could.
"My life has changed a lot ... I never went to school ... but now my kids the the opportunity to go to school and to learn things that I never could." - Karen
Alejandro, how has your life changed?
Before we knew about Agros, our life wasn’t as easy. Life was hard. Now we have our home, but we also have our community. Also, my children are at peace because they can see that we live in a lot better place now, and that gives us the strength that I need to work and do my job every day.
"My children are at peace because they can see that we live in a lot better place now, and that gives us the strength that I need to work and do my job every day." - Alejandro
What is it like to live in a community now? What is the difference between the way you were raised and now living in a community?
Agros has taught us how to live with people and how to live peacefully with other people, how to develop our self-esteem and how to behave as a good neighbor.
coffee is a high value crop. would you have been able to grow that crop before Agros? what does coffee mean for your family?
Without the help of Agros, I wouldn’t have been able to plant coffee for myself. I have experience planting coffee, but never for myself. Now, I work for myself and my family. I don’t work for anyone else. All the effort I put into my farm is for the success of my family.
"Now I work for myself and my family. All the effort I put into my farm is for the success of my family." - Alejandro
What are your hopes and dreams for your kids, and your family?
Growing up in this community, our kids will have more opportunities. I also dream that our kids will have the opportunity to go to university at some point. Everything that I have learned from the Agros model I will pass down to my kids. It is not just knowledge for me. It is also for my family.
"Everything I have learned, I will pass onto my kids. It's not just knowledge for me. It is also for my family." - Alejandro
Hope to see you at our next live Direct from the Field conversation with our Tierras de Vida family (soon to be announced!) in September.
Marketing and Communications Intern