“I am super grateful to Amigos because what we never had, we now have,” Doña Lisett responded when asked about the impact of Amigos for Christ projects on her community and family. Doña Lisett and her husband,
Santos, moved from a small community in northern Nicaragua to their current community, El Chonco, because they heard of the successful bean and corn farming. They have now lived in El Chonco for 12 years. Lisett and Santos have two wonderful children: 13 year-old Wilmer and 5 year-old little Gracie. As we chatted about life, family, and recent transformation, it was humbling and encouraging to hear the extent of change that the Martinez family has experienced since partnering with Amigos for Christ.
Lisett fondly recalls being approached by her daughter, Gracie, about building a modern bathroom. Lisett explains that Gracie would tell her parents story after story about how she loved taking a “real shower at Grandma’s house.” Gracie’s grandmother, who also lives in El Chonco, had recently received her own modern bathroom. Lisett laughed as she remembers Gracie asking Santos daily, “Papa, where is my bathroom? Grandma has a real bathroom.” As a result of their daughter’s persistence and their concern for the health of their family, Santos and Lisett were determined to provide a modern bathroom. Over the course of 2 months, they saved the money needed to begin the construction of their new modern bathroom. Just this week, they received the bathroom construction materials. Lisett and Gracie beamed proudly as they pointed to the spot where the bathroom will be built, saying, “I will have a real bathroom right here!”
Lisett also reflects on the impact that Amigos for Christ has had, and will continue to have, on her children’s education. She is thankful for the scholarship that her son, Wilmer, receives through Amigos’ student scholarship program, Leaders in Action. The monthly financial aid enables him to attend a better school in Chinandega. He is currently taking extra courses to learn about computer systems and software. Upon graduating high school, he hopes to have a technical certificate that covers over half of the courses required for his college computer software degree. This opportunity will allow him to enter college ahead of his peers. Lisett smiles and says that Wilmer will be the first person in their family with the opportunity to go to college. Gracie will finish preschool and begin kindergarten in January. She plans to attend the brand new school being built just down the road from her home. The pride and excitement for her children his evident on Lisett’s face.
The Martinez family’s transformation is quite impressive, and it is evidence of what is possible. What a pleasure it was to meet and get to know Lisett and her family. Each member of the family has been impacted by the blessings that flow through Amigos projects. They are now filled with hope and joy for the future. They walk into what lies ahead with confidence and faith because of the transformation that they have seen in their lives. Smiling, Lisett confirms this confidence proclaiming, “Little by little, we go forward.”