Nicaragua’s identity is influenced a great deal by the country’s relationship with water, hence the name Nicaragua. The Nicaraguan flag has two blue stripes on the top and bottom with a white stripe in the middle, representing the two oceans that hug against Nicaragua on the Pacific and Atlantic coasts of the country. Nicaragua has one of the largest freshwater lakes in the world, in which many people pride themselves on. I often drive out to Corinto, a small beach-port town about 25 minutes outside of Chinandega, to watch the sun majestically set over the Pacific Ocean.
As I sit on the cove of big boulders overlooking the ocean, I am always accompanied by others: couples, individuals, and families. We all settle into our spots, and we watch in awe as the sun dips gracefully into the ocean. As we sit on the rocks and watch the sun set, our view is also caught by the endless sight of the sandy Nicaraguan beach.
As I sit and admire the sand, week in and week out, I think about a phrase that I hear all the time here in Nicaragua: “Poner tu granito de arena.” Literally translated, this means, “add your little grain of sand”. We have a similar phrase in English with “a drop in the bucket,” but, unfortunately, it can have a negative connotation. The best way that I can describe adding “tu granito de arena” is simply doing your part in a small way, making things happen little by little. It may be bold to say, but I am convinced that adding “tu granito de arena” is one of the most important lessons that I have learned while working alongside and being a companion to many Amigos.
Our Amigos team recently gathered to talk about the future that we are all creating juntos, together, at Amigos for Christ. We shared an inspirational video about our work, discussed the impact of each team on the success of our organization, and, at the end, invited each and every one of our Amigos team members to join our, “Juntos Somos Más” (Together We Are More) Movement. This movement encourages our own team members to become monthly donors to Amigos. During the meeting, we shared that anything helps. It doesn’t matter if the contribution is $1, $2 or $100 a month. What matters is that each of us recognizes that we can make a difference, and when we all come together, the momentum will grow. We urged everyone to add “tu granito de arena.”
Before we started the first meeting, we set our goals, and I literally crossed my fingers thinking, “Whew, I hope someone gets excited about this and joins”. Well, as I sit here over a month later, I am amazed by the 106 Amigos team members who have started joyfully and generously giving to Amigos. Annually, our Amigos team alone will will raise over $35,000. Tu granito de arena has value, and it makes a huge difference. We shared with the team the impact that we are going to have juntos, providing examples of how our contributions will impact real people’s lives, transforming their futures and providing hope. The energy in the room was tangible.
At the end of the meeting, I shared that tu granito de arena, your donation, is incredibly important for Amigos, our work, and our mission, and I expressed sincere gratitude. However, I also shared that there is even more power in our actions: in looking someone in the eyes and asking, “How are you?,” in holding the door for someone, in smiling at each person you pass in the grocery store, in saying hello in the line at the bank, in the way we genuinely compliment people on a job well done, and in the times that we say, “Thank you,” “I’m sorry,” and “I love you.” These are also our granito de arena. Each and every single one of these moments has value, and together, they transforming the world. Let’s keep adding our granito de arena so the corner of the world that we’re living in today. When we look back years from now, we will be grateful that we did.
Juntos Somos Más.