A few days after searching everywhere for assistance with making the bracelets, we knew it was time for me to check out the sample product that I gave to Javier. I walked miles down the dirt roads recalling the overall direction, knowing that I would eventually find their home. As I arrived at the house, I saw Javier’s sister cutting leather to make children’s dress shoes. I was very impressed. I asked her if Javier was around. She nodded and yelled his name abruptly, which made me grin.
Javier came out in his dirty work jeans with the sample. I looked at it and couldn’t believe it. He did it! The leather bracelet looked great. There were just a few minor adjustments to ensure that the bracelet would be made with highest quality materials. I sat down with him and asked if we could work together to make a lot of them. He agreed so I pulled up a chair out front with the family and we went to work.
It was amazing what was happening. I was sitting in Nicaragua with a local family, no tourists within a 3 mile radius, creating a product that was going to give back to the community in so many ways. I constantly scanned my surroundings and realized that this was unlike anyplace I had ever visited before.
I had to shut my eyes when the occasional carriage rolled past because the dirt particles were blown around by the wind. I saw wild dogs, children, drunks and happy families all walk by. I sat there, taking it all in, for what felt like an eternity because there was so many uncommon things going on.
I asked Javier’s family all sorts of questions attempting to further understand who they were. In exchange, they asked me questions and got to understand me and the culture I came from. It was beautiful. Not only was I hearing about the Nicaraguan life from Nicaraguans, but I truly felt it as I sat there with them and actually experienced it for myself.
The whole experience of working with the family changed me. It made me even more curious than I was before. It made me question why some get opportunities to succeed while others don’t, even if they both work just as hard. All I wanted to do was learn and give back in any way that I could. I wanted to create opportunities for as many hard working people as possible.
I thanked them for everything and told them that I would see them again very soon. The whole walk back, all I could think about was how I could work with them and give them an opportunity for their family to accomplish their dreams.